Jul 05

Celebrate this Patriotic Week by Learning About Patriotic Animals

by Staff

To help celebrate this patriotic week, an American icon gets ready for a live appearance.

Mattie, a rescued wild American bald eagle, helps SeaWorld and Busch Gardens educate people about wildlife conservation, like when she makes a live appearance with other native American animals, including a couple of gopher tortoises and a striped skunk on Univision’s Despierta América this Friday, July 6.

Mattie the Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

SeaWorld is honored to partner with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to care for Mattie. Bald eagles are a great conservation success story, with protection efforts leading to the species growing in numbers and its removal from the threatened and endangered species list in 2007.

Did you know that the bald eagle is the only eagle found exclusively in North America? Considered by Native Americans and adopted by all Americans as a symbol of freedom and courage, the bald eagle was chosen as our nation’s emblem in 1782 even before George Washington became our first president.

Gopher Tortoises

Gopher tortoises are a protected reptile native to Florida, that are endangered due mostly to habitat destruction. Gopher tortoises provide a key environmental benefit as their burrows provide homes for up to 250 different species at one time or another.

Striped Skunk

Another specie native to North America is the striped skunk. They are easily recognized by their characteristic colors and pattern. Skunks use scent marking to communicate their presence and reproductive state to other skunks.

striped skunk from SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

Striped skunks usually do not discharge the foul smelling contents of their scent glands unless mortally threatened. The spray often causes nausea and burns the eyes and nasal cavities of the unfortunate target.
Skunks are nocturnal, sleeping during the day in underground burrows and emerging around dusk to search for food.

Ambassador animals from SeaWorld and Busch Gardens help us connect and engage as many people as possible to inspire them to take action to preserve wild places, conserve resources, and protect animal species.

You can learn more about Mattie and thousands of other animals when visiting our parks across the country this summer.

Despierta América airs nationally 7-11 am EST. Click here for details.