Most of our birds are injured as a result of accidental contact with humans, but Arizona’s story is different. She was raised illegally in captivity as a juvenile. Because she was not fed a proper diet during this crucial period in her growth, she suffered from malnourishment. Her bones could not develop properly. A rehabilitator in Sedona, Arizona treated her, but the damage was permanent. Arizona cannot fly well, so VINS gave her a permanent home in 1996.
Like all of our exhibit birds, our golden eagles receive health checks twice per year. Our rehabilitation staff carefully capture the birds in order to examine them, and Arizona is not fond of this process. She has learned to recognize our rehabilitators’ faces and voices, and she becomes very defensive when she sees them! Fortunately, she is much calmer around other people, especially the volunteers who feed her daily. Arizona reminds us that our birds are fundamentally wild, despite their limitations.