One sick bald eagle still hanging on

Feb 5 2014 - 9:47am

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 In this undated photo released by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, a bald eagle files in Utah. Proponents credit the Endangered Species Act with staving off extinction for hundreds of species, from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale, but Republicans in Congress say the 40-year-old law meant to protect animals and plants from extinction has become bogged down by litigation and needs to be updated. (AP Photo/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Lynn Chamberlain)
 In this undated photo released by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, a bald eagle files in Utah. Proponents credit the Endangered Species Act with staving off extinction for hundreds of species, from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale, but Republicans in Congress say the 40-year-old law meant to protect animals and plants from extinction has become bogged down by litigation and needs to be updated. (AP Photo/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Lynn Chamberlain)

SALT LAKE CITY -- A bald eagle sick with West Nile virus at a Utah wildlife refuge is giving workers there hope he will beat the disease.

Great Basin Wildlife Rehabilitation Founder Patti Richards tells the Daily Herald the eagle's four year life span is "astronomical" compared to that of four other eagles that previously died there.

The still-fighting Eagle named Mike has faced significant odds since birth. He was born without nostrils and breathes through his tear ducts, among other birth defects.

The National Wildlife Health Center found more than 50 bald eagles died in Utah in recent months after scavenging on their usual winter meal of dead grebes that contracted the virus.

West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, usually infects birds during warmer months.

 

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