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Eagle webcam brings controversy as viewers witness eaglet dying

Eaglet died on live cam.
Eaglet died on live cam.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Live cams that capture animals in the wild are all the rage these days. Many wildlife lovers around the world sit in front of their computer screens hoping for a glimpse of their favorite creatures. Scores of these cams get up close and personal so that viewers are able to witness some amazing things. However, as reported by ABC News on Wednesday, some got more than they bargained for as a live cam in Maine caught a very sad moment of a baby eagle dying.

The harsh reality of life in the wild was captured while viewers watched in horror. A small eaglet died right in front of their eyes last weekend when its parents abandoned the nest. These things happen quite often, even though it may be painful to think about it. The problem here is that it happened before an audience and the wildlife experts made the decision to let it happen, just as it would if there were no live cams rolling. There was no intervention and the outcry was heard around the world.

"The nest cam is more of a mirror to reflect what's going on with all eagle nests. It's not to be used as a baby monitor to intervene when we see something that makes us feel sad as humans," said raptor specialist, Erynn Call.

Most wildlife experts agree that they just don’t intervene most of the time, unless maybe there are special circumstances involved. The truth is that not many eaglets survive once they are out of the nest. It is a blessing if even one out of two makes it. This goes for many other animals as well. As sad as it may be, it is a way of life out there in the wild. has become quite popular among lovers of wildlife with more than 50 live cams across four continents and many more to come. Viewers have been able to enjoy getting to know the famous brown bears of Alaska, see the beluga whales swimming in the waters of Churchill, Manitoba, and watch the giraffes, elephants, and hippos roaming about in Africa. Remember, there are cheetahs, lions and leopards in Africa as well. There are many dangers for every creature of the wild, including starvation and being attacked by other animals.

While everyone knows that this sort of thing happens, most are not used to sitting there watching it in real time and not being able to do anything about it. Wildlife officials generally make it a rule not to interfere with nature. Some may or may not agree with this concept, but that is the way it is. Viewers get to know and grow to love the majestic animals they see on camera, which makes it very hard when something happens to them.

It is a sad fact of life but is it too harsh for webcam viewers to handle? It may be that the chance of being able to explore these wonderful creatures of this earth in your own living room should outweigh the rare occurrence of something bad happening. Do you agree?

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