Was’aka is the first male bald eagle at the National Eagle Center. He arrived from Florida, where he was discovered as a fledgling with a tumor over his left eye. Even after surgery to remove the tumor, Was’aka remains blind in the left eye and is unable to hunt for himself. Was’aka hatched in 2006.
At just over six pounds, Was‘aka offers visitors to the National Eagle Center an excellent example of size differences among eagles from different parts of the United States, as well as the differences in size between males and females.
Was’aka’s name has a very unique story. Was’aka is the Dakota word for strength. The Dakota people were the original inhabitants of the place now known as Wabasha, Minnesota.
In 2008, the National Eagle Center was involved in Civic Fest, an educational experience in the Twin Cities. Attendees were invited to select the name from among the following options: Franklin, North Star, Apollo and Was’aka, which won by a great margin.