Eye of the Eagle Sanctuary also has various wildlife at the Sanctuary. You can see different kinds of deer, tortoises, foxes, and other wildlife from time to time. They come to the Sanctuary to retire for life there or to start their rehabiliation and recovery so they can be released back into their natural habitat.

Family: Cervidae

Order: Artiodactyla

The Deer are the ruminant mammals that comprise the family Cervidae. Species therein include white-tailed deer, such mule deer as black-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer (caribou) fallow deer, roe deer, pudú and chital. Male deer of all species (except the Chinese water deer) and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year, thereby differing from such permanently horned animals as antelope, which are in the same order as deer and may be superficially similar.The musk deer of Asia and water chevrotain (or mouse deer) of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded to be deer and form their own families: Moschidae and Tragulidae, respectively.

Family: Canidae

Order: Carnivora

The Artic Fox (Vulpes lagopus), also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox, is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. It is well adapted to living in cold environments. It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter. It averages in size at about 85.3 cm (33.6 in) in body length, with a generally rounded body shape to minimize the escape of body heat. They prey on any small animals they can find, including lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, seabirds, and bird eggs. They will also eat carrion, berries, and seaweed. They form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and usually stay together in family groups of multiple generations in complex underground dens.

The Gray Fox is mainly distinguished from most other canids by its grizzled upper parts, strong neck and black-tipped tail, while the skull can be easily distinguished from all other North American canids by its widely separated temporal ridges that form a U-shape. There is little sexual dimorphism, save for the females being slightly smaller than males. The gray fox ranges from 76 to 112.5 cm (30 to 44.3 in) in total length. The tail measures 27.5 to 44.3 cm (10.8 to 17.4 in) of that length and its hind feet measure 100 to 150 mm (3.9 to 5.9 in). The gray fox typically weighs 3.6 to 7 kg (7.9 to 15 lb), though exceptionally can weigh as much as 9 kg (20 lb). It is readily differentiated from the red fox by the lack of "black stockings" that stand out on the latter. In contrast to all Vulpes and related (Arctic and fennec) foxes, the gray fox has oval (instead of slit-like) pupils. The Gray Fox's ability to climb trees is shared only with the Asian raccoon dog among canids. Its strong, hooked claws allow it to scramble up trees to escape many predators such as the domestic dog or the coyote, or to reach tree-bound or arboreal food sources. It descends primarily by jumping from branch to branch, or by descending slowly backwards as a domestic cat would do. The gray fox is nocturnal or crepuscular and dens in hollow trees, stumps or appropriated burrows during the day. Such gray fox tree dens may be located 30ft above the ground. Prior to European colonization of North America, the red fox was found primarily in boreal forest and the gray fox in deciduous forest, but now the red fox is dominant in most of the eastern United States since they are the more adaptable species to development and urbanization. In areas where both red and gray foxes exist, the gray fox is dominant.

McCloud - The Artic Fox

McCloud is an Artic fox from a South Florida pet store. How he got there we don’t know. Right now he looks like a white fur ball on tiny little stilts. This summer he was slim and silvery charcoal. It has taken him a long time to trust us, but now he runs and plays hide and seek when he’s in a playful mood. Because he seemed lonely at times, we recently found a friend for him.She is a little gray fox and they seem to be getting along quite well. If McCloud is not happy with us he lets out a low growl to let us know we have annoyed him. He still will not let us pick him up, but he will come over and touch our hands.McCloud is definitely an eating machine!

Foxy - The Grey Fox

Foxy is a young gray fox that needed a home. She has definitely been a big boost for McCloud, our Artic fox.Foxy is still very skittish, but she no longer runs frantically when we enter the cage. Now she sits calmly on a small round platform and watches us feed the white tigers. Foxy has definitely gained weight and her coat has become thick and shiny. She is a petite, charming little creature and moves almost like a whisper even though she is incredibly fast.

Family: Testudinidae

Order: Testudines

Tortoises (Testudinidae) are a family of land-dwelling reptiles in the order Testudines. Like other turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise endoskeleton has the adaptation of having an external shell fused to the ribcage. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.


The Gopher tortoise is a fairly large terrestrial turtle which possesses forefeet well adapted for burrowing, and elephantine hind feet. These features are common to most tortoises. The front legs have scales to protect the tortoise while burrowing. They are dark brown to gray-black in overall color, with a yellow plastron (bottom shell). A gular projection is evident on the anterior plastron where the head projects out from the shell. Sexual dimorphism is evident, with male gopher tortoises having concave plastrons, while those of females are flat. In addition, the gular projection on male plastrons is generally longer than in females. Carapace length can range from 20 to 30 cm (7.9 to 12 in), with a height (to the peak of the shell at the middle of the body) of 15–37 cm (5.9–15 in). Body mass averages 4 kg (8.8 lb), with a range of 2–6 kg (4.4–13 lb).


Patches is an approximately 60 year old gopher tortoise who was run over by a car.The shell by her left front leg was completely crushed and her stomach was torn leaving a gaping hole with stomach contents exposed. First we repaired Patche's stomach and let her rest for a week to see if she would eat and survive. Patches is a real trooper and she began to eat heartily the day after surgery. After her stomach healed, we began the tough task or repairing her shell – top and bottom.We were not able to repair the entire shell, but slowly over a period of a year, Patches shell is closing. Patches is still a great eater and we hope in several years she may be able to be released back into a gopher tortoise colony in the wild. If her food tray is not ready fast enough, she comes over and walks on my feet to let me know she is hungry.In the meantime she seems to be a happy and responsive gopher tortoise and is not afraid of any of us.

African Spur Thigh Tortoises

TheAfrican Spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), also called the sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert, in northern Africa. It is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world and the largest species of mainland tortoise not found on an island.

Bruiser and Bessie

Bruiser and Bessie are two very large African spur thigh tortoises that recently came to the sanctuary needing a permanent home.Bruiser weighs 110 pounds. When he first came to the sanctuary we didn’t realize how large he was and we did not have appropriate outside facilities for him or Bessie. So we kept him inside and watched him rearrange all the clinic furniture on a regular basis.Finally after threatening turtle soup, his donators agreed to build the two tortoises a fenced in home outside with heat lamps and heating pads.Bessie weighs fourty five pounds and her shell tells me that for at least a part of her life, she was fed incorrectly. Slowly her shell is beginning to correct itself with proper diet and vitamins. Bessie is definitely as pushy as Bruiser and often yields to him.

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