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Soar high, Golden Girl

By Eugenia Jones

Earlier this month, staff from the Lake Cumberland Wildlife Refuge Home of Liberty Nature Center (Somerset, Ky) released a rare golden eagle back into the wild at the Three Forks of Beaver Trailhead in the Beaver Creek Wildlife Management Area in McCreary County.  A large crowd gathered to watch the release which was especially noteworthy since it was the refuge’s first release of a rehabilitated golden eagle.

The golden eagle spent several weeks in rehabilitation at the Refuge as she recovered from injuries sustained when she tried to get to a goat in a wire enclosure.  The eagle was found in Western Kentucky and was transported to the Lake Cumberland refuge for treatment and recovery.

The 14 pound female eagle, named Wohali, the Cherokee word for, “eagle,” had a six ft. wing span and 15 cm. foot pad.  

Although they occasionally migrate through Kentucky in the winter, golden eagles are rarely seen in the Commonwealth.  Refuge staff stated Wohali would probably be out of Kentucky by the end of the week after her release and continue flying northward.  Although golden eagles are more solitary in nature than bald eagles, staff felt Wohali would probably find other golden eagles after soaring farther north.

Prior to Wohail’s release, refuge staff introduced their educational ambassadors, including owls, to the admiring crowd.  The Liberty Nature Center is a Wildlife facility specializing in wildlife rehabilitation, education, & conservation and is especially known for rehabilitation of birds of prey including owls, hawks, and bald eagles.

A video of Wohali’s release can be viewed on the Lake Cumberland Wildlife Refuge Home of Liberty Nature Center Facebook page.

Lake Cumberland Wildlife Refuge Home of Liberty Nature Center Facebook photo
Photo by Eugenia Jones
Lake Cumberland Wildlife Refuge Center released a rare golden eagle back into the wild at Three Forks of Beaver.
Photo by Eugenia Jones
Onlookers enjoyed learning about the refuge’s educational ambassadors, including the owl pictured above.

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