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View Full Version : Baby golden eagle miraculously survives Utah wildfire



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07-08-2012, 12:47 PM
SALT LAKE CITY A baby golden eagle is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility after officials say it miraculously survived a Utah wildfire last month.
Kent Keller told The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/NKy8WO)http://global.fncstatic.com/static/all/img/external-link.png he feared the worst when he returned to the nest site west of Utah Lake to retrieve a leg band he had attached to the male eaglet June 1.
But the veteran Utah Division of Wildlife Resources volunteer found the burned bird alive on June 28 behind a charred tree, about 25 feet below the nest that was burned to a crisp in the 5,500-acre Dump Fire near Saratoga Springs.
"I thought there was no chance he would be alive. I was stunned when I saw him standing there," Keller said. "I thought maybe I could rebuild the nest a little bit, but I took a good look at him and realized that was not going to happen."
The 70-day-old eaglet had suffered burns on his talons, beak, head and wings. His flight feathers were melted down to within an inch or two of his wing and tail. He's very underweight at just over five pounds.
Keller realized the eagle would not fly for at least a year and that the parents eventually would stop providing food. Not a stick from the nest was left after the fire sparked by target shooters swept through.
"I've seen nests burn before, but this is the first year I have seen one burn with young in it," he told the Tribune. "They are usually long gone and flying when fire season starts."
After permission was secured from state and federal wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden assumed care of the eaglet this week.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/08/baby-golden-eagle-miraculously-survives-utah-wildfire/?test=latestnews#ixzz203Bs0N6Y