In late January, the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit (KWE), 700 Nims, received a male golden eagle into its care. The golden eagle is estimated to be around 10 years old.
After holding a naming contest through the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit Facebook page, the community chose the name Keeper for the new raptor. The Keeper of the Plains statue can be seen from the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit.
Keeper comes to the KWE after being hit by a semi in late 2021 and undergoing surgery on his wing. Despite his surgery, Keeper will never be fully flight capable and cannot be released. The best time to visit Keeper is during the daily noon feeding time at the KWE.
Staff at the KWE will soon begin training the bird to be integrated into the animal ambassador program, which aims to help bring an up close and personal educational experience to residents using native Kansas wildlife which have been orphaned or injured and cannot be released into the wild.
The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit has been a mainstay of Riverside Park since the early 1900s, serving as the city's zoo until the Sedgwick County Zoo was opened in 1974. As a result, in the mid-1980s, the exhibit's focus shifted to native Kansas animals. Located in Central Riverside Park, the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit features over 25 species in eight naturalistic cages.