Tuesday, September 09, 2008

One Winged Bald Eagle Honored In Alaska

One Wing, the one-winged bald eagle who survived the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, died in Early May at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, Alaska.  Many in Alaska's Native Eyak community call One Wing a special eagle brother because of his strong spirit.  "We had to amputate his entire wing from his shoulder down when we rescued him, because he tore it fighting so hard to fly away free,"  said Veterinarian Cindy Palmatier. 

After surviving surgery, One wing served as a blood donor to hundreds of birds suffering from anemia and blood disorders caused by Exxon's spills. Despite the huge amounts of blood One Wing was transfusing, he continued to grow stronger each day. "That bird gave and gave and gave way beyond what any bird should be able to accommodate, and we really utilized him heavily to help other birds," Palmatier said. 

One Wing had a large following thanks to poems written by retired veterinarian, Dr.  Jim Scott. Another author, Joan Harris, also wrote a popular children's book: "One Wing's Gift: Rescuing Alaska's Wild Birds." A special memorial ceremony released One Wing's ashes back to the Eyak Nation and into the Prince William Sound. "People came from all over the country to check up on One Wing, so it's only right that we finally release him in such a special way," Palmatier said.

Bald eagles and other birds are one of the most popular subjects of native art.

No comments: