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Wild Animals/identification medium wild animal


On 2 occasions, I saw an animal in Eagle Lake Park which I could not identify.  Another person was with me one time and we were both puzzled. Much larger than a squirrel. Very long tail with very long fur on it, tail with an extra bend in it, unlike a squirrel, not like a raccoon. Dark grayish fur which was darker down the center of the tail. Small pointy head & ears not obvious, but not a skunk.  Behavior: Sat on hind legs briefly, then on all fours to forage, then back on hind legs,  looking around.  Jerky movements, but much, much slower jerks than the quick jerky movements made by a squirrel. Also raced over fence & thru low branches. Too large to be a ferret, did not seem like someone's pet. Not a raccoon.  what is it?

Dear Becca

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used. is a useful list of mammals found in Florida and includes photos and links to relevant webpages. I'm sorry that I can't reach a definite conclusion by comparing the list with the description you have given, but there are some possibilities.

One possibility is the fox squirrel, which is much larger than other North American squirrels, although it doesn't have pointy ears. There is information at

Another possibility is a grey fox, which is good at climbing and is often confused with cats (

The jaguarundi ( has a long tail, but this does not have long fur and most of the basic details of your description do not correspond to this animal.

If you have some measurements, I can try and find additional animals that could represent the animal you saw.

I hope you have an enjoyable new year.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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