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Blog Animals

Farewell to a majestic hawk named Misha

Misha with educator Steve during a public program

Misha came to the Museum’s campus in 1993 from the Carolina Raptor Center after recovering from a gunshot wound to the eye. For the last 29 years, he has been a part of the Museum team.

After a decline in his overall health and a change in behavior, last week we made the difficult decision to euthanize Misha.


After a pellet shot rendered Misha blind in his right eye, he was deemed unsuitable for release. Raptors like red-tailed hawks rely on their binocular vision to hunt and fly. Misha was brought to the Museum’s campus 29 years ago and became a cornerstone of our Animal Ambassador and Education teams.

Misha’s talons


Misha during a public program in the Farmyard

As Misha aged and his needs changed, the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams began laser treatments to ease arthritis in his legs and feet. He was given a habitat with low branches and enrichment that encouraged him to “hunt” for his food. Read more about Misha’s laser treatments here.


Misha with veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Barrett Gift


Misha receiving laser treatment


Misha took frequent field trips with the “Hawk Handling Team” to experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the Museum’s campus. Read more about the “Halk Handler Team” here.

Misha on a campus field trip with Animal Care Janine


Another field trip with Animal Care Rob


Misha delighted visitors of all ages and his presence in programs helped to educate guests on conservation efforts and the importance of caring for local wildlife. He will be dearly missed by all!

Fly steady Misha, we will miss you!