Wild animals roam SeaWorld San Antonio as part of park’s ‘Wild Days’ celebration

Visitors can see the featured wild animals Jan. 9-31, park officials say

Part 1: SeaWorld San Antonio Aquatica reopens, reservations are required | SA Live | KSAT12

SAN ANTONIO – SeaWorld San Antonio promises a 2021 full of wild fun, starting with weekends open throughout the entire year.

In addition to roller coasters and experiences with marine mammals, visitors will also have the chance to learn about wild animals rescued by SeaWorld through the park’s “Wild Days Celebration.”

The Wild Days Celebration kicks off Jan. 9 and continues through the last day of the month. The park will remain open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Do you love birds?

Head over to the Nautilus Amphitheater to catch a glimpse of wild birds during Flying High, hosted by the organization Last Chance Forever.

The presentation features birds like the red-tailed hawk, an American bald eagle, a great horned owl and even a vulture. Visitors will learn about the beauty and purpose of each bird. Many of them were rehabilitated from a sickness or injury.

Chuck Cureau, a spokesperson for SeaWorld San Antonio, said the celebration is meant to engage the public on the parks’ mission to protect animals.

“It’s part of our mission to protect animals and to act on behalf of those animals,” Cureau said. “Wild Days celebrates all of that. We have animals like lemurs, porcupines and a rescued American bald eagle that has an amazing story behind it.”

Cureau said Star, an American bald eagle, was rescued back in 2014 after a storm toppled over her nest in Florida.

“She had an ailment to her left eye,” Michael Salinas, the park’s senior animal care specialist, said. “Her left eye is slightly darker than her right eye. That was due to the fall during that storm. So, because eagles rely so heavily on their sense of vision to successfully learn to fly and hunt, she was deemed ‘non-releasable’ by the federal government. That’s why she is here today.”

Cureau said Star’s rescue and recovery have helped spread the message of conservation of wild animals, which the park is a part of.

“Here at SeaWorld San Antonio, we have a team of zoological professionals who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to go down to the Texas Gulf to rescue animals,” Cureau said. “Over the years, we have rescued dolphins, manatees and even sea turtles who have been in distress.”

Do you know Jabari?

Tiny, but mighty, Jabari, an African-crested porcupine, can also be seen during the park’s celebration.

“Jabari has thousands of quills that help protect her,” Salinas said. “If something comes up from behind her, she can sense it. One thing that people do not realize about porcupines is that they do not shoot their quills out.”

Kids and parents will have the chance for an up-close experience with animals like Jabari to help raise awareness on the need to preserve nature.

“We want people to learn about these animals. When they learn about these animals, they can protect these animals,” Cureau said.

RELATED: SeaWorld San Antonio to begin operating year-round in 2021

About the Author:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.