Tiger is our 33 year old golden eagle. She
has been at Auburn since 1986 and has been happily living out her retirement here at
the Southeastern Raptor Center. A few months ago our raptor specialist Andrew Hopkins noticed
some cloudiness in her eye. She was examined by the College of Veterinary Medicine and
found to have cataracts. Those cataracts were affecting Tiger’s vision and have since
been successfully removed. Not a lot of eagles get cataract surgery. There are a lot of eagles
in captivity but there’s not a lot of research about their vision as they progress into old
age. Tiger is 33 years old which is beyond the average life span for a golden eagle.
We are not surprised to see changes as she grows older, but we are happy that she is
here in the College of Veterinary Medicine where those problems can be addressed. Eagles
are strictly visual preditors and it’s extremely important that she’s able to see her food.
Without vision Tiger would not do well in captivity. We’re glad that her cataracts
have been removed so that she can continue to do what she does best—eat! Tiger has
been here for a long time. Generations remember being here on campus with Tiger. We have people
who have had photos with Tiger with their children and then with their own grandchildren.
Tiger means a lot of things for a lot of people, so we’re glad to help her adjust to her
changes as she matures.