Bald Eagle at Brookfield Zoo Dies

Leah lived at the zoo for more than three decades, officials said

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    Brookfield Zoo
    Leah, a 37-year-old bald eagle that lived at Brookfield Zoo for more than three decades, died July 28, 2010.

    A 37-year-old bald eagle that lived at Brookfield Zoo for more than three decades died Wednesday, zoo officials said.

    Zoo personnel on Wednesday euthanized a 37-year-old bald eagle with prolonged respiratory issues, according to Brookfield Zoo’s website. The bird’s condition was complicated by its advanced age.

    Leah was found with an eye injury in Minnesota in 1974 and was brought to wildlife officials, who determined the bird should not be released into the wild because of its eye injury.

    Leah spent four years at Lincoln Park Zoo and arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 1979, where it spent 31 years in the Children’s Zoo, the website said.

    The bird was a longtime participant in the Children’s Zoo’s “Animals in Action” program and appeared in multiple special events -- including Veterans’ Day celebrations and a Native American ground blessing in 2008, according to the website.

    “Leah was a favorite of guests and staff,” Glenn Granat, associate curator for the Chicago Zoological Society, said in an online statement.

    “She touched many people’s lives during her time at Brookfield Zoo. If one is fortunate enough to see a bald eagle in the wild it is usually from a distance, but here guests were able to really connect and be inspired when they saw this majestic animal up close. She will be greatly missed.”