Environmental champion Al Gore now has his own American bald eagle - or, at least, a gold-silver-and-bronze statue of one - that was cast by a Utah company.
The National Wildlife Federation gave it to the vice president Friday as a tribute to his efforts that helped lead to the removal of the eagle from the endangered species list.George Gruber, chairman of First International Fine Arts of Alpine, Utah County, which cast the sculpture and donated it to the National Wildlife Federation, was at the presentation.
Biologists for the federation said the statue by Portland, Ore., artist Lorenzo Ghiglieri is anatomically correct in every detail and appears "ready to fly" unlike most eagle sculptures that aerodynamically speaking are pedestal-bound.
Press releases said a limited edition of the American bald eagle sculptures will be produced for each of the 50 state capitol buildings and will be funded by private corporate and foundation donations. After production, the molds will be destroyed.
The federation authorized the sculpture to commemorate the bicentennial of the adoption of the bald eagle as the official symbol of the United States and to promote the need to protect endangered species.
It is not the first time that sculptures by Ghiglieri have been presented to prominent leaders. Some of his works have also been presented to Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and King Juan Carlos I of Spain.