During our honeymoon in January 1979 in the Bourke’s Luck area in Mpumalanga, South Africa, Lydia and I met a nature conservation officer who told us the remarkable story of how they released a Black eagle that was in the Pretoria zoo for ten years. This happened about a week prior to our visit. She told us how excited they were when the bird finally arrived from Pretoria in its wooden crate. They knew that this was the day for the eagle to return to the life and environment of its design. It would never need to waste another day in a cage. Their excitement soon turned to frustration when, after opening the cage, the bird just sat there with blank eyes and refused to fly! This continued for several hours. The ten years of caged life must have trapped this poor bird’s mind in an invisible enclosure! How could they get the eagle to realize that it was indeed free?
(The beautifully illustrated by Carla Krige, Eagle Story is available on Kindle and print)