Saturday, December 2, 2023

Lewis & Clark, Justice & Freedom or Sam & Joe? Help name this museum’s dynamic duo

NEWPORT NEWS — The Virginia Living Museum wants the community to help name their two bald eagles. And thanks to social media, they already have a couple names picked out.

Voters can choose from the following names: Lewis & Clark, Justice & Freedom or (Uncle) Sam & (G.I.) Joe and vote online or fill out paper ballots in the museum’s lobby.

The two male American bald eagles have been nameless for nearly 15 years and museum officials thought it was the perfect time to name them before the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, American Adventure, said Judy Triska, marketing director for the VLM.

“Historically, the Va Living Museum did not name our animals as we didn’t want to educate the public to believe they were ‘pets,'” she wrote in an email. “Times have changed and we find our guests can better connect to our animals and understand them by associating them with a name.”

In 2004, the museum received the smaller eagle, 16 years old, from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. A year later, the older eagle, whose age is unknown, came from the Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky.

The two eagles cannot survive in the wild since the smaller eagle was injured at a young age and the older eagle’s right wing is permanently damaged, Triska said.

“They will live the remainder of their lives with us,” she said. “We are their caregivers and they are our animal ambassadors.”

The Virginia Living Museum will announce the winning names at the opening of American Adventure on Jan. 19.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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