A Golden Eagle at Fort Abercrombie, North Dakota–1868

W.H. Gardner, the U.S. Army Assistant Surgeon at Fort Abercrombie (ND) recorded some basic observations about wildlife in the area on 15 December 1868.  He noted that Golden Eagles were common, and Bald Eagles were seen only infrequently.  He also recorded this interesting story:

‘This Bird the Golden Eagle seems to be capable of some degree of domestication.  There is one here which has been a pet in the Hospital of the Post for some time.  He was taken in as a ‘patient’ with a gunshot fracture of the leg; with quietude and a splint applied to keep the ends of the bine in opposition, he has made a good recovery and can now bear considerable weight on the injured limb.  He seems quite attached to the person who feeds him and shows no fear of person passing about.”

Gardner also wrote: “Our Indian Scouts inform us that westward from here forty miles at the Coteau des Prairies. . .  [can be found] our common American marsupial—the Opossum with pouch well developed.”

Golden Eagles and Opossum are not common denizens of the area today.