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Press Release

Golden Eagle celebrates one year of public programs

March 17, 2011. Takota, the El Paso Zoo's golden eagle, celebrates his one-year anniversary of being on public programs. In March 2010, Takota began visiting with guests during public programs and since then has made appearances at regularly scheduled zoo programs as well as several off grounds programs. Some notable appearances have been at the Franklin Mountains Poppy Celebration, Music Under the Stars and at An Evening with Jack Hanna at the Plaza Theater where he was one of the featured animals on stage.

Takota is a 5 and a half year old Golden Eagle who was found in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces in November 2007. After examination by veterinarians, Takota was found to have West Nile Virus, as well as, gunshot wounds which had already healed. He was given housing at the El Paso Zoo during his long recovery. Unfortunately, Takota's eyesight was permanently damaged due to the virus and it was decided that he would never have the ability to see well enough to live on his own. Several people at the El Paso Zoo took an interest in the eagle, seeing his potential as an ambassador for his wild counterparts through educational programs. A raptor consultant came to the El Paso Zoo in November 2009 to evaluate the eagle and he was so positive of Takota's potential that training with the eagle began immediately. Just a few months later in March 2010, Takota made his public debut. Since then he has helped represent Chihuahuan Desert Wildlife by encountering thousands of El Paso area residents both at the El Paso Zoo and around the city at special events. To date, over 34,000 people have seen Takota.

Takota is at the El Paso Zoo under permit from US Fish and Wildlife. The zoo was also awarded a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to hire a raptor consultant, a raptor presenter to show Takota to the public and have a new aviary built in an area behind the scenes.

Takota can be seen at the El Paso Zoo at scheduled appearances. During the month of March you can see him on weekends during programs at 11:15am, 1:30pm and 3:15pm (on March 26 Takota will not appear at the Zoo). He will be appearing again at this year's Franklin Mountains Poppies Celebration at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology on March 26 at 3:15pm. For more information on Takota programs at the El Paso Zoo, please visit www.elpasozoo.org. To follow Takota on Twitter got to twitter.com/takotagolden.

The El Paso Zoo opens daily at 9:30 am and the ticket booth closes at 4:00pm. For more information call (915) 521-1850.

PHOTO CAPTION: Takota with Heather Rivera, Raptor Presenter, at the Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta in 2010.
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The El Paso Zoo is a thirty five-acre home to about 228 species of animals. Approximately 420 mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, 100 fish and 300 invertebrates live in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Cisneros Paraje, Birds of Prey, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands and an Elephant Complex. The El Paso Zoo is a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation.

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