Morely the Golden Eagle passed away of natural causes sometime during the night on Jan. 1.
The oldest animal in the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats at around 35 years old, Morely came to the Mountain in 1984. He was a native of the western United States before being injured by a gunshot. The wound left him unable to fully extend one of his wings, rendering him incapable of hunting and surviving in the wild.
He was known for amusing trainers with his modesty. He loved taking baths and when Habitats staff walked by during one of his daily cleanings, he would freeze and glare as if he was caught naked. Baths were so important to Morely that he would climb into his water bowl when his pond was frozen in the winter months.