Tragedy for oldest known bald eagle
The bald eagle is America's official bird, and one with the longest history of any living today has died.
According to the Audubon Society, the oldest wild bald eagle on record was killed in Henrietta, New York several weeks ago after getting hit by a car, likely while it was feeding on a dead rabbit.
The 38-year-old male bird far exceeded the average species lifespan of about 20 years.
But perhaps just as remarkable, he was part of a program conducted in the 70s and 80s to help restore bald eagle populations in five states—New York, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, and Arkansas.
The animals had become endangered by then, particularly harmed by the lasting effects of the banned pesticide DDT.
This bird was one of 55 chicks that were hatched in Minnesota, which had a strong population, and shipped to those severely affected states.
He was given the number 629-03142 and was placed in New York with three others.
Due to this program and other conservation efforts, Bald Eagles were removed from the endangered list in 2007.