The NAVAJO NATION opened its GOLDEN EAGLE SANCTUARY AND EDUCATION CENTER on July 1, 2016. This Sanctuary is located within the Navajo Zoo and is open to the public for viewing these majestic birds-of-prey. The facility features natural landscaping, and a quiet, tranquil environment for injured, non-releasable Golden Eagles. The eagles have many perching opportunities within the 4,000 sq. ft. open-air building, and a waterfall/pond to provides natural background sound.


The Navajo Nation Tribal Eagle Aviary is authorized to possess live Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles for religious purposes under Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Sect. 22 Part 22 (50 CFR 22.22). Authorization for possession of live eagles under Permit No MB054509 is intended for tribal activities involving religious and cultural purposes. To apply for eagle feathers, you may visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Window Rock, or use this EAGLE FEATHER APPLICATION. You may also review our current EAGLE FEATHER DISTRIBUTION POLICY here.  And thanks to the Native American Humane Society and the Wisconsin Humane Society, we acquired their permission to post their document that helps Native Americans understand the laws, and acquire and possess eagle and other bird feathers; this document is “A Guide for Tribal Members to Legally Access and Possess Protected Feathers through Feather Repositories.”


The Navajo Zoo provides daily care for seventeen Golden Eagles in the Sanctuary. The primary caretaker of the Eagle Sanctuary is Zookeeper Terence Mull.

Our Golden Eagles are:

Skutevik – (arrived May 2002) – broken wing

Shellie – (arrived May 2009) – broken wing

Altair – (arrived April 2011) – permanent wing injury

Thor – (arrived Nov. 2015) – damaged left eye

Frankie – (arrived May 2015) – permanent wing injury

Lady Pearl – (arrived July 2016) – permanent wing injury

Leila – (arrived Oct. 2016) – wing injury

Smiley – (arrived Aug. 2017) – wing & foot issues

Gladiator – (arrived Nov. 2017) – left wing & elbow injury

Swoop (Nagi) – (arrived May 2018) – permanent wing injury

Iron Heart – (arrived July 2018) – permanent wing injury – shot by poacher

Atsa’-Bah – (arrived July 2018) – permanent wing injury – shot by poacher

Hornet – (arrived Oct. 2018) – permanent eye injury

Sam – (arrived Oct. 2018) – wing & eye issues

K’iiltsoii Bito’ – (arrived Sept. 2019) – wing injury, had West Nile Virus

Pendleton – (arrived Sept. 2019) – dislocated elbow, lead poisoned

*note: some of our eagles’ names are subject to change as they become sponsored for the first time under our “Adopt-an-Animal Program.”


Golden Eagle is called “Atsáshzhiin” in the Navajo language. Golden Eagle is a very sacred and important bird in the Navajo culture. They should be respected and greatly honored. It is said that a Navajo person can keep an eagle feather only after it is properly blessed by a medicine man.