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Rescued eagle unable to return to wild, will stay at Utah wildlife rehab center

(Benjamin Zack, Standard-Examiner, via AP)


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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Phoenix, a 5-year-old golden eagle, leaps from perch to perch in his enclosure. He does it with a brace on his left foot.

On June 21, 2012, when Phoenix was a few months old, he was critically injured in the Saratoga Springs Utah Dump Fire. Too young to fly, Phoenix suffered third-degree burns.

Kent Keller, a licensed Utah eagle bander, found the badly burned golden eagle chick and took him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.

The Standard-Examiner reports after several years of rehabilitation, the center is keeping Phoenix as an educational bird.

In this July 6, 2017, photo, Phoenix, a 5-year-old golden eagle wears a makeshift brace to help hold Phoenix's foot in place, as a result of contracted West Nile Virus, in Ogden, Utah. Phoenix survived third-degree burns from a Utah wildfire and a bout with the West Nile virus that left him blind in one eye now has a job as an educational bird at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. (Photo: Benjamin Zack, Standard-Examiner, via AP)
In this July 6, 2017, photo, Phoenix, a 5-year-old golden eagle wears a makeshift brace to help hold Phoenix's foot in place, as a result of contracted West Nile Virus, in Ogden, Utah. Phoenix survived third-degree burns from a Utah wildfire and a bout with the West Nile virus that left him blind in one eye now has a job as an educational bird at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. (Photo: Benjamin Zack, Standard-Examiner, via AP)

Keller says he is disappointed to see Phoenix unable to return to the wild, but hopes the children and adults who observe him up close will be touched by his story.

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