The Anzu Bird

The Anzu was a servant of the chief sky god Enlil from whom Anzu stole the Tablets of Destiny hoping to determine the fate of all things.  In one version of the legend, the gods sent Lugalbanda to retrieve the tablets, who in turn, killed Anzu.

In another myth Ea and Belet-lli conceived Ninurta for the purpose of retrieving the tablets.

In a third legend, found in The Hymn of Ashurbanipal Marduk is said to have killed Anzu.

The great Sumerian scholar Samuel Kramer translates “Anzu” as owl.  Most often “Anzu” is translated as eagle, vulture, or bird of prey. The malevolent Anzu bird is also called “lion-headed” and pictured as an eagle monster.

Amulet from Arslan Tash (Syria) shows a sphinx like creature with wings.

The Anzu Bird in Inanna and the Huluppu Tree is a griffon vulture.

“Harvey” was rescued with a broken wing and lived most of his life at Safari West in northern California where he was beloved by his handler Corri Fair and the entire staff.  He died the year after portraying the Anzu Bird.

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