Aviary eagle gets new home; shelter animals find new homes
In a new and upgraded enclosure at the North Side bird zoo, Kodiak, a Steller's sea eagle who escaped from the National Aviary in the fall, is ready to meet and greet his fans.
After escaping from his habitat on Sept. 25, "Kody," as he is known to his pals and keepers, was trending on social media and was widely covered in the mainstream media. Kody was found in Pine on Oct. 3 and returned to the aviary, where he had lived for 15 years, thanks to day-and-night search efforts by aviary personnel and hundreds of phone call leads from the public.
Since then, he has lived "off display" — behind the scenes — while his living accommodations have been repaired and improved. His new digs were revealed on Friday, when Kodiak was reintroduced to the public. His bald eagle neighbors received habitat improvements as well.
Kody, by the way, is the size of a bald eagle. According to the National Audubon Society's website, Steller's weigh 11 to 21 pounds.
The eagles now have more space to perch and roost, as well as pools for bathing and playing, as well as natural flora and higher walls.
There were numerous messages and photographs on social media after Kodiak flew the coop. Some people complimented him on his daring escape and encouraged him to fly high and enjoy his newfound freedom. In my perspective, that was impolite and incorrect. Kody would most likely perish "in the wild" in Pittsburgh. He's a raptor who has never been taught to hunt. He's not a river eagle, but a sea eagle.
Eastern Russia, northern Japan, and the Korean peninsula are home to Steller's sea eagles. According to Audubon, their position in the wild is "vulnerable," with only 4,000 individuals remaining. They hunt and eat ducks and gulls, as well as fish, shellfish, and small mammals.
Kody was standing in the middle of a North Side roadway, looking dazed and confused, in one of the social media photographs I saw. The people in the photo appeared to be aware that they were witnessing something unique.
Kodiak used to hang out in the North Side, close to his aviary. Then he began heading north. On Oct. 3, residents of a Pine neighborhood contacted the aviary, and personnel responded quickly.
According to aviary.org, Kody,recognized one of his caregivers and made eye contact. Soft nets were used to safely capture him. Pilar Fish, an aviary veterinarian, checked him and reported he was in good health.
According to aviary officials, supply chain issues delayed the construction of the new eagle habitats. The eagles are housed in the Charity Randall Foundation Eagle Hall, which is now known as Eagle Hall.
Happily ever afters
Local animal lovers stepped forward to support Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. Adopters stepped up when officials reported earlier this month that the number of pets in their shelters was high.
HARP is grateful for Pittsburgh's animal lovers' response and thanks everyone who shared the word or welcomed a new friend into their home, said a news release.
101 animals, including 31 adult canines, were adopted or reunited with their homes between May 3 and a Mother's Day special event.
Pittsburgh animal control has a contract with HARP, which runs shelters in Homewood and the North Side. Strays and lost dogs are taken in, and ID microchips are scanned to try to locate the owners.
For more information and to see adoptable animals, go visit humaneanimalrescue.org.