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Hawk at Zoo Atlanta gets in fight with wild animal, dies

Tahoe, the Harris hawk, died after sustaining injuries from an altercation with a wild animal, the zoo reported on Friday.
Credit: David Stemple

ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta announced with a heavy heart that after over 20 years in their care, a Harris hawk died following a fight with a wild animal, according to the park on Friday. 

The zoo said that Tahoe the Harris hawk was hatched in 1999, joining their family the same year. Tahoe was a longtime member of their World of Wild Theater for most of his life. 

Tahoe, unfortunately, died after sustaining injuries from an altercation with a wild animal, the zoo reported. 

“Tahoe appeared to enjoy his opportunities for flights above an audience and really seemed to enjoy flying low enough to cause a stir,” said Rebecca Young, Curator of Ambassador Animals and a team member who knew Tahoe best.

Credit: David Stemple

An investigation into the attack is still underway. Zoo Atlanta said Tahoe "was was housed in a secure outdoor mew," and that they have taken extra time out to make sure all enclosures in their World of Wild Theater are up to the park's standards. Zoo Atlanta also promises to look into additional preventative measures, "including but not limited to scouring the area for feces, hair, or other sources which may shed clues." 

Atlanta's own "wolf of the sky" is gone, but Tahoe's memory lives on in the hearts of the zoo's animal care, veterinary teams and everyone who came and visited him over the years/

“He was a bird who made you work for your relationship with him, and he made you work to keep it," Young said.


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