SUPPORT to make the golden eagle Scotland’s national animal is steadily growing after receiving support from a rather unexpected source.
Bosses at Eagle Couriers, one of the country’s biggest delivery companies, have pledged the support of their 100 plus staff saying the bird is a symbol of “strength and pride”.
Further attempts to help campaign leaders, RSPB Scotland and wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan, have also been made by the firm who have donated £200 to help achieve their goal.
Despite Scots voting the animal their favourite just last month, there are now only 431 pairs of the mighty creatures left in Scotland as their numbers continue to dwindle.
Hunting and changing land-use over the years has meant the bird tends to be found in the most remote parts of the country including the mountains and glens on the west coast.
Scotland’s current national animal is a fictional unicorn but campaigners hope that their petition, which closes on Friday, will urge politicians to designate the species as a national symbol.
The petition to make the bird – otherwise known as Aquila chrysaetos – has 1,666 signatures so far.
Jerry Stewart, director of Eagle Couriers said that over the last 25 years he has regularly seen the birds on his journeys.
He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to see the golden eagle soaring above the Scottish hillsides, so I understand what a truly magnificent sight it is.
“It is a real shame that these birds are not more common and we at Eagle Couriers would like to support the RSPB’s campaign to help raise its profile.
The businessman added:“It represents a symbol of strength and pride which is the very reason why we included the eagle in our company name.”
Mr Stewart is hopeful that the companies investment will help fund future conservation of the species, cementing its future across Scotland.
Chris Fancy of RSPB Scotland has welcomed the petition support and donation.
He said: “We’re extremely grateful to Eagle Couriers for this generous donation in light of our recent campaign to have the golden eagle designated as Scotland’s national bird.
“RSPB Scotland has submitted this petition, helping to raise the golden eagle’s profile, turn around its fortunes and see it return once again to its former range, thus increasing the chances of sightings for visitors and local people.
“We thank Eagle Couriers for its support and urge people across the country to show theirs by signing the petition and telling the Scottish Government that the country’s national bird should be the golden eagle.”