Cabarrus

Wayward eagle Garibaldi dies

One of the seven resident American bald eagles at the Carolina Raptor Center died in the eagle aviary June 21, center Executive Director Jim Warren announced.

Garibaldi lived in the eagle aviary. He came to the Raptor Center from the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Fla., in 1998. He was an adult when he arrived, with a full white head and tail. He retained a hole in the skin of his wing that caused him to have problems flying.

Garibaldi made headlines in 2005 when a severe storm caused the aviary's eagle netting to collapse. He escaped and spent the next seven months eluding would-be captors.

"Have You Seen Garibaldi?" T-shirts were printed to help publicize the search campaign for him.

Garibaldi was recaptured in February 2006 near Beverly Hills Elementary School in Concord.

Though he had survived for seven months in the wild, Garibaldi was thin and undernourished when he was found.

After spending a few weeks in the rehabilitation hospital, Garibaldi returned to the Raptor Center, where he lived for five more years.

The cause of death wasn't immediately known, but the eagle lived 20 years, which is considered a normal lifespan for a wild bald eagle.

Garibaldi's remains will be sent to the National Eagle Repository. His biography will remain near the eagle aviary as a memorial.

If you would like to donate to the Garibaldi Eagle Memorial Fund, send your contribution to Carolina Raptor Center, P.O. Box 16443, Charlotte, NC 28297.

The money will be used to help replace the eagle aviary netting in the near future.

For more information about the Carolina Raptor Center visit www.carolinaraptorcenter.org.

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