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‘Phoenix’ nearly healed after rising from ashes of 2012 Dump Fire

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-30 23:31:17-04

OGDEN, Utah -- "Phoenix" the eagle was just an eaglet when the 2012 Dump Fire raged up the mountain and burned every stick in the nest.

For more than a year, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has nursed his injuries, and the video above details his progress.

Volunteers said he's now 80 percent healed, but it's still too soon to release him. Buz Marthaler, Chairman of the Board for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, said the eagle’s prognosis is uncertain.

“Every day we question whether he'll be able to be totally wild,” Marthaler said. “He has a very spirited personality, and we hope that he will overcome, and we think he's wild at heart."

The golden eagle needs to build up flight muscles, learn how to hunt, and allow his wings to heal before he leaves the rehabilitation center.

“He is a fighter,” Marthaler said. “He was a fighter from day one. You can tell by his personality. He made a lot of noise and he struggled. We had to catch him up three to four times a day to treat his burns and force feed him.”

For more information about the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, visit their Facebook page. The organization posts updates on Phoenix periodically.

Information is also available on their website.