FUZZY: golden eagle
Fuzzy was found on the ground, a mile south of Vasco Cave near Altamont Pass, California, near the windmills that generate electricity. She had apparently flown into the propellers and had crashed to the ground, unable to fly. She was transferred to the Center on March 31, 1995.
Fuzzy suffered from fractures of the left wing and underwent two surgeries and months of physical therapy. She was ruled non-releasable by the middle of 1996, since she could not maintain flight when tested on the flight-line.
Since Fuzzy was so relaxed around people and so calm while being handled and treated, our volunteers said all she needed to be the picture of comfort was a pair of pink fuzzy slippers. So they began calling her "Fuzzy", and the name stuck. Not the most elegant moniker for a mighty bird of prey at the top of the food chain!
Fuzzy has been a display bird since she arrived, and is most often seen on one of the perches in the new eagle enclosure near the entrance to the Center, which she shares with male golden eagle Sullivan. They seem compatible, and do not squabble, even over their delicious breakfast of formerly frozen rats. They certainly make an impressive greeting committee for visitors.
We know Fuzzy is a female because she is huge (as befits a female golden eagle), and because she has laid eggs (all non-fertile and therefore no baby eagles inside). She is a fine representative for birds of prey for the California Raptor Center.