Bonnie Georgiadis Releasing Rehabilitated Bald Eagle


Dublin Core


Bonnie Georgiadis Releasing Rehabilitated Bald Eagle

Alternative Title

Bonnie Georgiadis Releasing Rehabilitated Bald Eagle, c. 1980s


Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
tourism & museum
Mermaids--Florida--Weeki Wachee--History
Theater--20th century


Weeki Wachee Springs Bird Department Manager Bonnie Georgiadis about to release one of the two bald eagles she helped rehabilitate. She rehabilitated an eagle in 1985. The eagle got caught in some barbed wire and broke its collarbone at a cattle ranch near Weeki Wachee. The 4-year-old female dubbed Victoria recovered at Busch Gardens for four months and was then sent to Weeki Wachee to be rehabilitated for two months. In order to retrain the eagle, Bonnie had to train the bird to fly short distances from perch to perch and reward Victoria with treats. Bonnie Georgiadis worked at Weeki Wachee for a total of 37 years. 13 years as a mermaid and trainer, 7 as a show producer and choreographer, and the rest of her time at the park as the bird department's manager.

Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry opened Weeki Wachee Springs to the public in October of 1947. At the time, roadside attractions were becoming popular stops along Florida roadways. The attraction consisted of an amalgamation of vendors, an orchid garden, a river boat tour, as well as the star attraction: a mermaid show that took place in an underwater theater. Eventually, the May Museum of the Tropics, an "abandoned Seminole village", a show called “Birds of Prey”, and a petting zoo were added. After peaking in the 1950s and 1960s, attendance began to decline as theme parks and highways changed the dynamics of Florida's tourism. The State of Florida took over the attraction as a state park in 2008. Since then, the park has focused on appealing to a modern audience while preserving its history.




Weeki Wachee Spring State Park


Original color photograph of Bonnie Georgiadis and Bald Eagle, c. 1980s: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Collection.


Date Created

ca. 1980-1990

Date Copyrighted

ca. 1980-1990

Has Format

Digital Reproduction of photograph: Bonnie Georgiadis and Bald Eagle, c. 1980s. Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




43.7 KB


Color Photograph


Still Image


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher


Originally created by Weeki Wachee Springs, owned by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and is provided here by RICHES for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Florida Humanities Council Community Grant Program and Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park


Schwandt, Rebecca

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Collection.

External Reference

Allman, T.D. Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.
Ammidown, Margot. “Edens, Underworlds, and Shrines: Florida’s Small Tourist Attractions.” The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 23, (1998): 238-259.
Georgiadis, Bonnie and Lu Vickers. Weeki Wachee Mermaids. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.
Hollis, Tim. Glass Bottom Boats and Mermaid Tails: Florida’s Tourist Springs. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2006.
Pelland, Dan and Maryan Pelland. Images of America: Weeki Wachee. Mount Pleasant: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
Revels, Tracy J. Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.
Vickers, Lu. Weeki Wachee City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.


Weeki Wachee Spring State Park, “Bonnie Georgiadis Releasing Rehabilitated Bald Eagle,” RICHES, accessed July 21, 2024,