Golden eagle has special meaning to one family

Posted at: 07/25/2013 6:45 PM
Updated at: 07/25/2013 9:26 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Earlier this year, an eagle nearly died after flying into a car's windshield near Silver City. The eagle made an incredible comeback and was released weeks later. Now the eagle's journey beyond New Mexico is being tracked. And we learned one family is watching it closely, because this eagle has special meaning to them.

"Being an eagle, being Apache and having lost my son Oskar and it helped us. It did help us to heal," Brandon Perrault said.

We know this golden eagle named Thor has a resilient body after recovering from a crash. But this story is about its spirit and the spirit of the family that released Thor back into the skies.

Perrault said, "It was a very special day. Dennis asked if we'd like to release that, and I couldn't think of anybody better than my Grandpa better to do that."

The Perrault family was grieving and trying to make sense of losing their Oskar. Just 12 years old, he took his own life. Dennis and Denise Miller run the Gila Wildlife Rescue and heard about the Perrault's tragedy. The Millers asked them to release Thor, hoping that would help the family to release some grief.

Oskar's father Brandon said it did.

"It really did help us release some things. It was a beautiful symbol."

Thor has been doing well. Equipped with a tracking device when released, in his 1st day Thor made it from Silver City to the Four Corners area. Thor's tracker shows he's 3,600 miles away, off the coast of northern Alaska.

The Millers have cared for hundreds of animals, but Thor is special according to Denise.

"It's been very emotional for me just to see his journey and just the strength and the stamina and the strong spirit that he has."

Dennis is excited to know where Thor goes.

"We never really know where they go or how well they do. That's what so special about this one."

If you want to follow Thor's journey, you can track him through the Gila Wlidlife Rescue's Facebook page.