History of Eagleworld
The foundation stone for Eagleworld was laid at Arresø in Zealand in 1970. Frank Wenzel researched and trained with falcons and eagles, which he had brought with him to the country on his many travels as photographer for Danish Cultural Film and the publishing company Munksgaard. Frank Wenzel was at that time recognized for being one of the very first to who had been able to make birds of pray breed under human care - which he could give evidence for due to his profession as a photographer. He was already then one of the country's leading specialists on birds of prey, and he lectured at The University of Copenhagen on his book "Hvepsevågen" (The Honey Buzzard) - specially invited by Ragnar Spärck. Moreover, Frank had also made one of the first nature documentaries for Danish television, also about the honey buzzard.
The early days of Eagleworld
In 1980 Frank wanted a place where the birds of prey could get more space. Therefore he gathered some of the world's leading ornithologists and falconers, and together they found a suitable place for Eagleworld in Skagen, where there are large fields, forests and sea. The aim was to create a centre for research on birds of prey. A place that worked for information about, protection of and especially respect for the birds of prey. At this time Eagleworld was not intended to be a place for an audience.
Eagleworld started out primarily with eagles and falcons from the Scandinavian countries. In addition Frank had bought some Imperial Eagles from Macedonia. When Eagleworld first saw the light of day there was generally little respect for eagles and falcons, which were shot or kept in captivity in their home countries.
Audiences flock to Eagleworld
Surprisingly many people showed interest in the place. And as Frank would like to share his experiences and knowledge, Eagleworld opened up to the public at set times, which of course took into consideration the birds' daily rhythm. Initially it was about 10-15 people who, on an informal basis, visited Eagleworld, but as word spread, there could be up to 2.000 visitors a day. But the audience was and still is here entirely on the birds' premises. Therefore the audience's area is restricted and the animals' area is unlimited. The birds of prey can freely choose whether or not they want to face the audience, unlike traditional zoos. This demands more of the staff's professional knowledge - and of mutual trust between animals and humans.
In 2005 Eagleworld chose to expand with from all continents where there are eagles. The place was in need of renewal and Frank wanted to give the regular customers new knowledge and new experiences. Frank points out that he does not want to catalogue the birds of prey, but it conceided with the fact that the respective foreign eagles were ready to be transferred to and live at Eagleworld. Thus, you can now admire eagle species from America, Siberia, China, Central Asia and Africa in Eagleworld. In 2005 Eagleworld built stands for the audience so they were guaranteed the same great view to the falcons and eagles called down to the audience by a falconer during the show - and which quite voluntarily let themselves be admired.
35 years of respectful interaction
Eagleworld celebrates its 35 year anniversary in 2015 and can be proud of it's great job of providing information on birds of prey's tremendous historical significance, their physics and their nature. Frank has studied and lived with birds of prey both in the wild and in Eagleworld in a lifetime, and he is the specialist on birds of prey who knows most about most species. The immense knowledge he has passed on in Eagleworld through his books and through photos and film in his 60 year career. Denmark is in fact the country in the world with the greatest knowledge, respect and interest in birds of prey, so there is really something to celebrate during the anniversary.
Welcome to Eagleworld.