American Bald Eagle, SeaWorld Busch Gardens Fund

Sea World and Busch Gardens are known for their many contributions to wildlife conservation. From rescuing animals to protecting endangered species, both parks are well versed in animal preservation. And this past Friday the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund participated in the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey release of an American Bald eagle. This was the 396th rehabilitated bald eagle the Center has released since its inception in 1979.

The bald eagle was released from the Palm Cemetery in Winter Park by Rob Yordi, a representative for the Fund. The Cemetery was very close to the location of its rescue in January, making the spot a perfect place to re-release the bird into the wild. When the adult female eagle was captured she had puncture wounds and a fractured coracoids—a bone in its right shoulder—that Center specialists believe it obtained during a territory fight with another eagle.

“The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is proud to have provided $60,000 in grants to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey since 2004,” said Yordi. “The Center’s work to rescue, rehabilitate and return birds of prey to the wild and to protect their habitats is vital to Florida’s ecosystems and the wide range of species in the region.”

The SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is a private, non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting wildlife preservation, research, education and animal rescue. The Fund was created in May 2003 to allow visitors to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove to supplement the contributions of those parks to wildlife conservation and research. The Funds grantees include global organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International along with smaller, grassroots organizations. The organization’s mission is, “To work with purpose and passion on behalf of wildlife and habitats worldwide, encouraging sustainable solutions through support of species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation and conservation education.”

In addition to species-specific work, the organization is focusing more and more of its resources to help tackle a select handful of timely environmental challenges like healthy oceans, sustainable forestry, illegal wildlife trade, and the bushmeat crisis (“bushmeat is a term that applies to all wildlife species used for meat including but not limited to” elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates; forest antelopes; crocodiles; porcupines; bush pigs; pangolins; and monitor lizards).

You can be sure the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund will continue to rescue and protect Florida’s wildlife for many years to come. The capture and re-release of the bald eagle is just one example of what the Fund does on a daily basis.

For more information and to donate or get involved with the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund visit www.swbg-conservationfund.org.