MIAMI, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Miami’s Metrozoo has become the second U.S. zoo to hatch a rare harpy eagle, the national bird of Panama, officials said.
The bird, one of the largest among the 50 species of eagle, was born Sept. 22 but the zoo waited until Friday to announce its birth because of the high mortality rate among baby eagles, The Miami Herald reported Saturday.
“I’ve been sitting here for 30 days saying ‘please God let it live, please God let it live,”’ said Ron Magill, a Metrozoo zoologist who has worked with harpy eagles for three decades.
At a month old, the chick, which has yet to be named, resembles a little turkey covered in cotton balls. In several years, it will have talons the size of bear claws and a wingspan wider than a pickup truck, Magill said.
The chick’s parents arrived from the San Diego Zoo seven years ago but produced no fertile eggs until this year, Magill said. The San Diego Zoo was the first U.S. zoo to hatch the rare bird.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International