June 29, 1908


Cage to Hold Them 300 Feet Long
and Higher Than Forest
Trees Is Now Being

Kansas City may furnish eagles for the republic. A local lodge of the order of Eagles yesterday presented a magnificent specimen of the golden eagle to the Kansas City Zoological Society, to help start the zoo going. The national emblem was sent to Swope park, where the zoo is to be eventually established, and soon a cage will be built for it. None of your cages that everybody knows about, but a great affair going over the tops of the trees.

The city has appropriated $15,000 for buildings for the society. It remains for the society members to decide what sort of buildings they want first. If the proposal of the local Eagles is pushed, the aviary will be the first thing built, and in it will go the eagles. The Brotherhood of Eagles has offered to stock a cage with eagles if the zoo will furnish the cage and house the birds. The offer is made because nearly every lodge of Eagles in the country has a live eagle on hand that it would be glad to be rid of after the novelty of ownership has worn off. What the order is looking for now is a home for its emblem.

"We can get 100 eagles if we will take them," said Harry O. Walmsley, one of the vice presidents of the Zoological Society. "It has been suggested that we accept the custodianship of these great birds and once a year, on July 4, release a pair of them so as to perpetuate the species. It could be made a national event. Nobody would kick but the mules. I think very well of the scheme, and will submit it to the other members of the society when we hold our regular meetings next week."

When Mr. Walmsley was asked if there would be no protests against turning birds of prey out, he scoffed the idea of the eagle being a bird of prey. "Nobody but the story writers ever heard of an eagle doing any harm," he said. "They may pick up a young lamb once in a while, but they are more likely to get away with a rabbit. All the children who have been stolen by eagles were found between the covers of fairy books.

"The eagle is becoming extinct. The Brotherhood of Eagles is involuntarily gathering a lot of them captives. If the Eagles do not get the eagles, the birds are shot and stuffed. The proposal now is to let the Kansas City zoo accept custody of them and, once a year, on the natal day, turn a pair of the great birds loose. It would be like running old glory up to the masthead. The Society of Eagles could have charge of the ceremony.

"From our side we would want to 'band' the bird, putting a brass band on a leg giving its history so that when in the course of a decade of a century some mighty hunter would bring the same bird down south of the equator or in the farthest Canada, natural history could get a story worth the while. I think very highly of the plan to invite the Order of Eagles to send all their birds to us. The cage we are considering would be about 300 feet in length and high enough to clear the forest trees. On the ground, running the cage, there would be covered alleys so that visitors might go right into the cage and see their life at home.