Article Published: Jan. 4, 2013 | Modified: Jan. 4, 2013
Morely the Golden Eagle died of natural causes sometime
during the night on Jan. 1. He was discovered in his enclosure Jan. 2.
oldest animal in the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats at around 35 years old, Morely came to
the mountain in 1984. He was a native of the western United States before being injured by a
gunshot. The wound left him unable to fully extend one of his wings, rendering him incapable of
hunting and surviving in the wild.
According to habitat staff, he was
known for amusing trainers with his modesty. He loved taking baths, and when habitats staff
members walked by during one of his daily cleanings, he would freeze and glare as if he was caught
naked. Baths were so important to Morely that he would climb into his water bowl when his pond was
frozen in the winter months. Morely lived with several fellow eagles during his time at
Grandfather Mountain, but was the last of his kind in the habitats when he passed
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is currently in the
fundraising stage of an effort to renovate the eagle enclosure at Grandfather Mountain. The
upcoming renovations will completely enclose the habitat, allowing the Mountain to acquire eagles
that are partially flighted and protecting the inhabitants from wild
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a nonprofit
corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in
the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good
stewards of the earth's resources.