A pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles that cannot be released into the wild due to domestication and injury are now being housed in a new purpose-built enclosure at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.
A first of its kind in Australia, the unique enclosure has been self-funded by the privately-owned Park and was officially opened yesterday by the former Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Chair of Destination Phillip Island John Pandazopoulos.
The 30-metre aviary was built based on a raptor rehabilitation design that is free of any wire and includes slatted wooden sides and a 7-metre-high domed top with double netting, to ensure the huge birds don’t injure themselves and have plenty of room to fly.
Director of Moonlit Sanctuary Michael Johnson said: “It’s unfortunate the two Wedge-tailed Eagles are not able to be released into the wild as they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves based on their upbringing and injuries.
“The male Wedgie was found severely underweight and begging for food on a farmer’s property, while the female was injured in an accident and required surgery to amputate two talons.
“As Wedge-tailed Eagles can live up to 35 years in captivity, our dedicated team of keepers have worked hard to design, build and provide a home where the eagles can comfortably live out their lives with the potential to also become a love nest if the two breed.”
Moonlit Sanctuary’s Wedge-tail Eagle enclosure will feature a viewing platform at each end of the aviary for visitors to see these majestic birds.
With a wingspan of a
round 2.4 metres, the Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest raptor in Australia characterised by its long, wedge-shaped tail and found throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania.
Around 25 per cent of Moonlit Sanctuary’s species are endangered or threatened with extinction, and the Park plays a major role in conservation and breeding programs.