Isis, Grandfather Mountain's female bald eagle, was humanely euthanized June 27 after self-inflicting multiple abrasions and lacerations on her body due to stress behaviors. The decision was a difficult one for Grandfather Mountain habitat staff members but after a medical evaluation and consultation with raptor health specialists it was determined to be the most humane option. (Photo by Skip Sickler)
A bald eagle at Grandfather Mountain was humanely euthanized Thursday, according to a news release.
Officials said Isis and a male bald eagle were recently released into their new habitat. Unfortunately, Isis did not properly adapt to life in captivity.
Despite efforts from the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitat staff to help her cope, officials recommended euthanasia as the only humane course of action for the ailing eagle.
Officials said birds can have a harder time adjusting to living in close proximity to humans than other animals. Isis was rehabilitated after suffering from lead poisoning and was blind in her left eye.
Staff said Isis suffered from repeated injuries from fence collisions. Last week, the habitat's staff saw Isis becoming more and more stressed.
"Isis had significant wounds to her head, face and one wing," said Lee Bolt, DVM of Sweeten Creek Animal and Bird Hospital in Asheville, N.C. "We suspect that the lead poisoning had damaged her nervous system more than previously thought."
The news release stated that other options were dismissed before the difficult decision was made. It is unfair and inhumane to constantly medicate an animal just for the sake of having it on display for people. Relocating Isis wasn't a viable alternative either. Isis' injury prevents her from being released into the wild and aside from rehab centers that only have the means to temporarily nurse the animals back to health before transferring them to permanent homes, virtually all eagles in captivity have to live in close proximity to humans at places like Grandfather Mountain.
Isis came to Grandfather March 22 along with another bald eagle named Griffin as the first two residents of the Mountain's brand new eagle habitat. Griffin, a bald eagle relocated with Isis, is still doing well at Grandfather Mountain. Habitat staff members have begun the task of searching for another rehabilitated female bald eagle to join Griffin in his new habitat.