Local News

Grandfather Mountain's last habitat eagle dies

Posted January 3, 2013

— Morely the golden eagle, the oldest animal living in the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitat, has died of natural causes.

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation reported the bird died overnight Tuesday and was discovered in his enclosure Wednesday morning. The eagle was about 35 years old.

Morely came to Grandfather Mountain from the western United States in 1984, after he was injured by a gunshot. The wound damaged one of his wings, and he was unable to survive in the wild.

Keepers said the eagle loved taking baths and would climb into his water bowl when his pond was frozen in winter months. Morely lived with several other eagles at the habitat, but he was the last survivor.

The foundation is raising money to renovate the eagle enclosure at Grandfather Mountain. The renovation will completely enclose the habitat, allowing the park to acquire more injured eagles.


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  • jscott13 Jan 3, 2013

    Morely is now flying free again.

  • daisy Jan 3, 2013

    He was such a beautiful bird. Good to hear they are renovating the habitat area.

  • busyb97 Jan 3, 2013

    So they have no eagles now? Lst time we were there, there were 3. Or is it he was the last golden eagle in the habitat? (I remember 1 golden, and 2 bald.)

  • tmstubbs63 Jan 3, 2013

    I remember seeing this eagle the last time I was at Grandfather. Such a majestic raptor.....hurry with the renovations so we can help more injured birds like Morley.

  • cynicaljill Jan 3, 2013

    :( I know for the keepers it is hard to lose an animal

  • mrlee34 Jan 3, 2013

    The news is so depressing.....this eagle was 3 years older than me. So sad.