GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — July 4th was a sad day at the Lee Richardson Zoo.
Buddy the bald eagle passed away from an infection caused by self-inflicted puncture wounds on her left-wing.
Zoo staff spent a week treating buddy and were optimistic about her chances of recovery.
But the eagle, a symbol of the country, died on Independence Day.
“Well it’s certainly a coincidence,” said Jordan Piha, the zoo’s General Curator. “Holidays don’t necessarily mean anything to the animals. I think one of our education specialists said it pretty perfectly. She felt like the fireworks that evening were a celebration of buddy’s life and what she represented.”
At 30 years old, Buddy lived a long life. The median life span of an eagle is 16 and a half years.
She came to the zoo as a fledgling with a broken wing in 1986. The zoo plans to replace her and give a home to another eagle that cannot be released into the wild.