Stanley and Stella, the Steller’s sea eagles at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, are officially moved into their new home today, May 7th, 2010. An official opening was held to welcome the eagles to their expansive new Asian-shores home, which includes a bubbling creek, a pond, and lots of room to stretch their massive wings.
The Zoological Society of Manitoba raised over $200,000 for the new exhibit through its members’ contributions and events such as Safeway Boo at the Zoo. The project was managed by Mr. Steve Stephanson, Director on the Board of the Zoological Society, and designed and constructed by Bridgman Collaborative Architecture and Tractus Projects. During the opening ceremony, the Zoological Society turned over the keys of the exhibit to the City of Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo.
The Steller’s Sea Eagle is native to the sub-arctic west coast of Russia, although individuals occasionally migrate to Alaska and to Japan. Weighing up to 9 kg and sporting a massive beak, it is the largest of all eagles (the Bald Eagle may reach 6 kg). Stella arrived at the Zoo in 2005 from the Tallinn Zoo in Estonia, and Stanley in 2006 from the Liberec Zoo in the Czech Republic. Aged seven and five, the birds have acquired their full size and attractive pattern of white and brown plumage, and have reached the potential reproductive age. Zoo officials are hopeful that these eagles will soon begin a successful breeding career. There are only 16 Steller’s Sea Eagles in North American zoos, and only one pair has bred to date.