His new exploits were treated like a big lark. Everyone thought the bird would be good ̵
1; and soon he would learn to fly on his own, just as Victory did.
But that was not to be. Something was wrong with Valor. He was transferred to a rescue and research facility, reporting that he was seriously underweight and anemic.
The bird’s fans looked and waited nervously to see if he would recover.
Mr. President and The First Lady have raised young eagles in a picturesque tulip poplé in the National Arboretum – a place they picked themselves for the record – since spring 2015. The DC Eagle Cam, organized by the American Eagle Foundation, has been broadcasting its family life on the Internet since 2016 .
Passionate NPR.org readers may remember the first season in the estate – we covered every beep and every hatch of eagles “Freedom” and “Freedom”.
Next year, the president and the first lady “Honor” and “Glory” took again for a long-distance audience.
By the time they came out of their eggs this spring, Valor and Victory had already inherited a lot of keen eagle clover who had followed the avian first family for several years.
This year they watched Victory and Valor from the time they were eggs, carefully guarded by their parents, through the thrill of the hatchet’s first shakes.
They saw that the birds grew up in fluffy chickens, then smarter, darker young birds, who made their first tentative hopes against air and freedom.
And now killed the eagle’s companionship with his first real tragedy.
Valor did not lose weight. His condition was “very bad,” Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research said. Some eagle-wise cameramen wondered if the health problems were dated back to days when Valor did not seem to get his full share of food. The food distribution in the estate is a common anxiety among eagle camera observers. Or was the case a symptom of something more unfortunate?
“We know that many people are worried about the forecast for this eagle,” said the group on Monday. “We do everything we can, but despite intensive medical treatment and nutritional support during the past three days, Valor has not shown any improvement and his forecast continues to be monitored.”
The bird experts understood that the public was dazzled by this news. “We know that his decline may seem sudden to many people,” they explained. “Wild animals are capable of concealing damage” to avoid targeting predators and can “look bright and alert” even though they are in good health, they said.
On Tuesday, they released their last update.
Valor had been boredom. He had no appetite and had to feed. His head and body shook.
He tested positive for West Nile Virus, which may be fatal in birds, said the plant. The animal experts said it was “extremely unlikely” that he would recover and that “the prolongation of his suffering would have been inhuman”.
He was euthanized on Tuesday.
“Words are not enough to convey the sadness we know for the loss of our precious eagle, Valor,” said the American Eagle Foundation on the DC Eagle website. The group said that euthanizing him was “the hardest but compassionate decision”.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to end the 2018 season by looking at Mr. President, First Lady and Victory,” wrote AEF. “Be calm, Valor. You were loved.”
And he was. He was really, really.
On Facebook, sadden called him “Beloved Valor”, “Precious Valor”, “Sweetheart Valor.” One dedicated a statue to him. They reminisced to see him grow from the day the egg lay and reminded how brave he had cured heat and cold, wind and rain.
“I wish I understood how a little bird passed could tear a hole in his heart,” wrote a woman on Facebook.
“I will form him flying over the clouds and know he fled directly to heaven,” wrote another.
“But his life was short, he enjoyed many around the world,” wrote another fan. “It will be his legacy.”
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