The zoo received Liberty the bald eagle in September 2010. She was donated from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, Wisconsin where she spent some time in their rehabilitation facility after being injured in the wild. Her large cage lets her fly short distances but she would not be able to survive in the wild with her damaged wing..
- The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782, It symbolizes freedom, power, and majesty.
- Bald eagle feet are equipped with spiny scales on the soles of the toes and sharp talons for gripping slippery fish.
- Young bald eagles have a mixture of brown and white feathers. As they grow the brown feathers on their head are replaced with white until they are fully mature in 4-5 years.
Persecution and pesticides such as DDT have taken a toll on the bald eagle reducing their numbers from 300,000 in the 18th Century to 412 nesting pairs by the 1950's. After being placed on the Endangered Species List and the banning of pesticides like DDT their numbers rebounded. The bald eagle was de-listed from the Threatened and Endangered Species List in 2007. Now the bald eagle is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Lacey Act.
The bald eagle is still threatened by electrocution, collisions, and illegal hunting.