SF Teaching Zoo Welcomes New Bald Eagle

River, a bald eagle, looks over its enclosure at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo.

October 5, 2020 – In the midst of a global pandemic, the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo strives to continue to fulfill its mission to protect wildlife. On July 23, 2020, staff and zookeepers welcomed a rehabilitated juvenile bald eagle to the zoo family.

Earlier this year, Three Rivers State Park service officials and volunteers monitored a pair of bald eagles who were raising their eaglets. During a storm, their nest fell from a tree. The surviving eaglet was rescued and brought to Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida, who took it to a local veterinarian for surgery to repair a broken wing and tissue and muscle damage. Sanctuary staff worked to try to get the juvenile eagle up and flying again, but the damage was too significant. The eagle was deemed non-releasable since it would likely not survive in the wild without full flight capabilities.

Once it was confirmed the eagle would become a permanent resident at the SF Teaching Zoo, staff and zookeepers worked quickly to prepare the eagle’s new habitat, constructing a large, elevated nest fit for a national bird. When the juvenile eagle was released into her habitat, she readily hopped up onto limbs and surveyed her surroundings. Named after the park where she was rescued, River is thriving in her new home. We look to the day we can welcome guests back to the zoo so everyone can meet this regal bird.

Although the SF Teaching Zoo is not currently open to the public, they are still #BringingTheZooToYou on Facebook and Instagram. Join them on Facebook Live every Monday at 10 a.m. in October for #EnrichmentMonday.