Hattiesburg Zoo Opens New Golden Eagle Exhibit - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Zoo Opens New Golden Eagle Exhibit

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The Hattiesburg Zoo connects with the University of Southern Mississippi through a new exhibit.

Meet Nugget, Hattiesburg Zoo's newest tenant.

The Southern Miss Alumni Association, Student Government Association and USM Foundation donated $70,000 to construct the habitat for the Golden Eagle.


Nugget is a nine pound male from California. He was electrocuted, and is therefore no longer able to fly.


To prepare for Nugget's arrival, the US Department of Wildlife and fisheries had to approve the exhibit after staff went through nearly 300 hours of intensive training.


That's because Golden Eagles have talons with 10 x's the strength of a grown man and sharp-hooked beaks.


"So you have to be careful with these guys," Zoo Education Curator Krissy Hamilton said. "And with these guys being the largest raptor in North America, you have to really keep an eye out and know their behaviors and what you're doing before you actually start working with them."


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