January 31, 2012 12:00AM
Like any youngster who’s had a rough start in life, Apollo is going to need some time to get used to his new home. Apollo, a young male American bald eagle, is adjusting to his new permanent enclosure at Pittsburg State University’s Natural History Research Reserve.
Apollo arrived in mid January and Delia Lister, Nature Reach program coordinator, said he appears to be doing well in what is undoubtedly a stressful situation.
“I came out this morning and just sat in his enclosure reading a book,” Lister said recently as Apollo looked on warily from his perch. “He ate for us for the first time yesterday, so that’s a good sign.”
Apollo, a young male, was found last year near Clinton Lake with an injured wing.
“We think he was shot,” Lister said. “The x-rays showed metal fragments in his wing.”
Apollo spent the past three or four months at the Eagle Valley Raptor Center near Cheney, Kan. Although Apollo recovered from his injury, the damage to his wing was significant enough to prevent the bird from returning to the wild, so he became available for placement.
“With any federally protected bird, there are a lot of requirements we must meet before we are eligible to receive a bird,” Lister said.
That includes suitable housing. Fortunately, Apollo has a new, deluxe enclosure thanks to volunteers from Westar Energy's Green Team, HCC Contractors, and the Sperry-Galligar Audubon Society, who built a new eagle enclosure at the reserve last September.
Lister said she got the news last week that PSU’s program had been approved to take Apollo and made the round trip to the Eagle Valley Raptor Center on Friday to bring Apollo home to Pittsburg.
Eventually, Apollo will fill an important void in the Nature Reach educational program that occurred when Aurora, a female eagle that had been part of the program for many years, died.
But Lister said she isn’t going to rush Apollo to step into his new role.
“We will take our time with him,” Lister said. “He deserves that.”
More about Nature Reach.