Grandfather Mountain eagle put to sleep

Posted July 26, 2010

— Wilma the bald eagle, a 25-year resident of the animal habitat at Grandfather Mountain, was put to sleep over the weekend, a spokeswoman said.

The eagle, which was at least 34 years old, had arthritis, was increasingly weak and was in declining health, said Christie Tipton, manager of the habitat.

Wilma came to Grandfather Mountain in 1981 after sustaining a gunshot wound in the western United States. "Wilma wasn't able to fly because of her injury," Tipton said in a statement Monday.  "She's in a better place now where she'll always be able to fly."


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 28, 2010

    Beautiful bird. :-) I'm sure they did all they could.

    But, where's this "better place now where she'll always be able to fly"? Animals don't go to heaven. Sorry, Wilma. Sorry, Fido. Sorry, Mr. Wiggles.

  • Glass Half Full Jul 28, 2010

    Baybee Doll obviously has no idea how dedicated the staff of Grandfather Mountain is to their charges. They would never needlessly put an animal to death. All that could be done was done and this must have been the most humane choice if it was done and I can promise you many tears were shed by the staff. I am amazed when I see how the staff work in concert with each other when someone enters the eagle habitat to deliver food, water, and to clean. They are very respectful of the animals and realize they're in their space. They do what needs to to done and get out with as little disruption as possible. You should visit sometime so you can get a feel for the place, its people, and it's wildlife.

  • firedrake Jul 28, 2010

    RIP Wilma, Fly Free. Say hello to my birds for me.
    For those curious, Avian medicine is a super rare specialty, the NCSU Vet school even closed their avian department (it should be reopened). That aside, birds are exceptional at hiding how poorly they are doing, until it is too late. If Wilma was in "decline", they had been doing round the clock care to try to make her better. They made the correct choice for a humane end.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jul 28, 2010

    RIP Wilma.

    Baybee Doll, animals are different from humans in dealing with debilitating diseases. Treatments are very limited, since most research and drugs are oriented for humans. I'm sure the vets were humane enough to determine not to have Wilma suffer, particularly in pain.

  • dogsrule12cheek Jul 28, 2010

    Oh no I have seen her before and have pictures of her,

    Arthritis is bad one people i could image on an animal and they cant tell you how bad they feel, if you have animals you know when something is wrong with them and when they dont feel good or look good.
    just my reply to Baybee Doll

    RIP Wilma

  • Just Once Jul 28, 2010

    Mystica, I was thinking something similar. The real "experts" are never there when you need them.

  • mystica131 Jul 27, 2010

    Baybee Doll-- the story says says that in addition to arthritis, Wilma was increasingly weak and in declining health. I'm sure the vets would have consulted if you if they could have.

  • Baybee Doll Jul 27, 2010

    Humans manage with arthritis just fine. Unless there is more to this story, that is a poor reason to put an animal to death. Poor bird.

  • rwest Jul 27, 2010

    We will miss you Wilma, you were always one of my family's favorites at GFM!!! RIP

  • needmocash Jul 27, 2010

    Say hello to my dog Chelsea for me.