Meet Riverbanks newest bird: The bald eagle
Posted 2/16/2012 10:17:00 AM
Celebrate Presidents' Day Weekend by spending time with the national symbol of the United States -- the bald eagle.
You can at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
, where you'll get a chance to see the zoo's newest resident -- a female bald eagle that came to Riverbanks in early December from Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Delaware.
The now 1-year-old bird, who doesn't have a name yet, was found near-death in a roadside ditch last spring, where she had shoulder fractures that prevented her from hunting successfully, Tri-State veterinarians believe.
“Riverbanks acquired this particular bald eagle after it was determined the bird would not be able to survive on its own in the wild,” Martin Vince, curator of birds at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, said in a news release.
Bald eagles were once considered endangered and near extinction, but there are now 10,000 pairs of the birds around the country. Of that, about 250 pairs can be found in the wild in South Carolina. There also are about 200 bald eagles in AZA-accredited zoos nationwide. It’s rare to find bald eagles in captivity because there are strict federal laws protecting them.
This is the first bald eagle at Riverbanks since 1998. A pair of male bald eagles lived at the Midlands
zoo from 1979 until 1998. Bald eagles can live up to 25 years in the wild and well over 35 years in zoos.
Riverbanks guests can see the bird on exhibit starting Friday, Feb. 17. The bald eagle will be on display adjacent to the grizzly bear exhibit.