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Grandfather Mountain’s new bald eagles, Griffin and Isis, may now be viewed by the public in
their renovated habitat. Anna Oakes | Watauga Democrat


The second annual Critter Crawl 5K takes place Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m., and all proceeds will directly benefit the renovations to the Grandfather Mountain eagle habitat.

The race begins in MacRae Meadows and ends at the top of Grandfather, taking runners past the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats.

The cost per participant is $35, which includes a parking pass, a free day pass to be used between May 24 and June 30, 2013, and a t-shirt if supplies are still available.

For more information about the 2013 Critter Crawl or Grandfather Mountain, visit or call 800-468-7325.

Originally published: 2013-05-14 16:26:39
Last modified: 2013-05-14 16:28:49

Grandfather's new eagles introduced

by Anna Oakes

The public got its first glimpse last week at Griffin and Isis, a pair of bald eagles that are the newest addition to the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats.

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation acquired the two eagles in March from the Nebraska Raptor Recovery Center, and construction of the renovated eagle habitat was completed earlier this month.

"We're delighted to give these two eagles a new home," said Penn Dameron, executive director of Grandfather Mountain, on Tuesday.

Landis Taylor, foundation director of communications, said the park began planning changes to its eagle exhibit after the deaths of bald eagle Wilma in 2010 and golden eagle Morley in January. Dameron said the final costs of renovations amounted to $212,000, of which about $50,000 has been raised in donations thus far.

Griffin and Isis were injured in the wild and deemed unfit for release because of their inability to hunt and survive on their own, a statement from Grandfather Mountain explained.

The male, Griffin, sustained an injury that caused the loss of his right eye and some neurological damage. The female, Isis, was originally hospitalized due to lead poisoning and is blind in her left eye. Both eagles are able to fly.

Grandfather Mountain held a public naming contest for the eagles in April, announcing the names selected on May 8.

Dameron and habitat curator Christie Tipton said the new eagle enclosure features stainless steel fencing capable of keeping wild bears and other animals out and withstanding strong winds and heavy icing. The habitat is larger and more spacious after the removal of a middle partition and small expansion of the habitat area.

For more information about the park's animal habitats, hours and admission prices, visit or call (800) 468-7325.