ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - The female eaglet found near E-470 and 120th Avenue died Wednesday afternoon, according to the Raptor Education Foundation (REF).
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must inform all of you, that 'our' female eagle died this afternoon at approximately 2:50 p.m.," Anne Price, the REF's Curator of Raptors said.
Price said the eaglet seemed to be doing well in the morning, but moved off the log she had been sitting on, Price said. Crews went to check on her at about 2 p.m. and found her in a muddy ditch, somewhat trapped by the high banks.
"…attempts to place her in a tree and on a stump were unsuccessful; she was weak and unable to stand," Price stated. "She vomited quite a bit of muddy water and other stomach contents."
She died as crews prepared to rush her to Seven Hills Veterinary Hospital.
"It is no small matter, the death of an eagle. And this eagle was very special to many, many people," Price said. "All of us, from the men on the ground at the nest, to myself, and I know many of you, are shedding many tears."
Seven Hills will perform a necropsy.
"We all want some answers; we want to know why things went south so fast," said Price.
"It was almost exactly 11 years ago that REF’s male golden eagle died in my arms from West Nile virus," Price stated. "Many of the symptoms of lethargy we witnessed with our E-470 Eagle are common to West Nile virus victims."
REF is planning an event soon to thank all of the Eagle Brigade volunteers, said Price.
"Words alone cannot express how sad we all are, but they can convey our profound gratitude to everyone who came together to share her brief life of approximately 100 days," Price said.