Red River Zoo Teaches Conservation Through Bald Eagle

FARGO, N.D. – The Red River Zoo is continuing its conservation efforts by giving visitors the chance to learn about bald eagles.

Leuca was rescued from the wild and brought to the Red River Zoo in 2006. His presence at the zoo is to teach visitors about the conservation story of bald eagles.

“Leuca was found in the area. He was injured. Game and Fish was notified and they came out to check the nature of his injury,” Red River Zoo Zookeeper Meghan Ream said.

His injury caused him to lose part of a wing and the ability to fly.

“We have him now and his purpose here at the zoo is to just teach the general public about his species,” Ream said.

“The bald eagles at the zoo really symbolize conservation triumph that we have done as a nation. It is quite impressive over the years. You know, when I was a child, you never saw a bald eagle,” Red River Zoo Executive Director Sally Jacobson said.

Bald eagles were on the endangered species list for many years from being shot and toxins from pesticides found in fish. Thanks to environmental efforts, that is no longer the case.

“Through many decades of recovery efforts, they were removed from the endangered species list in 2007. We now have a health population across the country but we are still working to keep those numbers increasing,” Ream said.

Leuca is a testament to the zoo’s work in rehabilitating injured animals and bringing awareness to animals with a conservation history.

“We’re hoping that by coming here they can learn a little more about that and understand the dangers of secondary poisoning from pesticides and how we can work together with nature,” Ream said.

Although Leuca is the lone bald eagle at the Red River Zoo, he won’t be for long. The zoo is taking in another injured eagle to help in sharing their conservation story.

“One thing that we can do here at the zoo is if an animal is injured in the wild, such as an eagle, and is not rehabitable, for example this eagle has a terribly injured wing, he wouldn’t survive in the wild. So, rather than having to put that animal down, we can accept him here at the zoo and use him as an education ambassador animal for the public,” Jacobson said.