The story of eagle Anička ends for the media

The life of the Slovak eagle contained all the elements of a captivating story - love, betrayal, drama, action, death, and even unexpected gender reassignment. That story, however, is now over.

The life of the Slovak eagle watched people from 173 countries, illustrative stock photo.
The life of the Slovak eagle watched people from 173 countries, illustrative stock photo. (Source: Stanislava Smadišová)

For three years the public has watched the story of a lesser spotted eagle from the Liptov Region, and interest exceeded expectations: seven million clicks by people from 173 countries.

It all started in August 2013 when conservationists caught the five year old eagle by placing an eagle-owl decoy near its nest; when the eagle went for the prey, it was caught behind a thin Bird Net. The protectionists fastened a lightweight solar transmitter and released it to freedom.

It is not possible to determine the gender to the eagles by looking under the feathers, thus three experts relied on the size and weight of the predator and named him Arnold.

The historical first of collecting data of the behavior of the Slovak Lesser Spotted Eagle began when Arnold left to winter in Africa.

“From the beginning we had some concerns if the technology will last,” disclosed Pavol Majko from the Tatra National Park (TANAP) Administration for the Sme daily, adding that at least it lasted as long as was claimed by the warranty.

The eagle flew above three continents and 25 countries, hovered over seas, pyramids and the African savannah.

“The farthest position surprised us, it was in South Africa which is 8400 kilometres in a straight line,” said Majko for Sme.

The first return to the nest in the Liptov Region lasted the eagle two months because two other eagles attacked him and forced him down, according to Majko.

Then it was also shown that Arnold was not such a man as it seemed.

A name Anička was chosen by people on the internet, as her mate was named Arnold, with whom she later had a chick. Both eagles were caring parents, as seen through the online broadcasting via a camera installed on the nest.

The chick was tragically killed, after which remained only the egg shells. It is not known whether it was killed by marten, owl or eagle-owl.

The end of several years of observation came spontaneously when Anička lost the transmitter during this year’s flight from Africa back to the Tatras. The protectors now observe her just with binoculars and they want to let her have a rest.

 

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