TODAY | December 27, 2013
>> issue facing an american treasure, the bald eagle . a mysterious illness that already killed more than a dozen of them but as miguel almaguer explains scientists are hoping for answers thanks to one family's dramatic rescue in utah .
>> reporter: what began as a family hike through utah 's rugged backcountry suddenly turned into a rescue. the bald eagle , one of our country's most majestic creatures was spotted in trouble by taylor and his father-in-law bob carter .
>> within seconds you can tell it's a bald eagle . the white head , the big yell low beak. it was immediate and it clearly couldn't fly.
>> reporter: using his go go pro camera he recorded the experience. they delicated wrapped the bird with it's six foot wingspan and razor sharp beak driving him to safety.
>> how is he doing?
>> he's nervous.
>> reporter: keeping the eagle calm at home until wildlife experts arrived.
>> then it became our friend and we took it home and watched football.
>> reporter: the eagle was brought here, to the wildlife rehabilitation center where it joined three other sick balanced eagles.
>> we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle together yet. so this could be the end of it or this could be the tip of the iceberg . we don't know.
>> reporter: it's alarming. so far this month, 16 balancd eagles died from the same illness. blood work from the birds discovered in this region have been sent to a lab for testing. those results could be back in days or weeks and could be the first clue into solving this mystery. bald eagles are no longer a endangered species but are still protected.
>> it's a symbol of our country. it's just what america stands for so to see one hurt or injured, that's not what you want to see.
>> reporter: but tonight in utah , something is killing this majestic creature and now the race against time to save them. miguel almaguer, nbc news, bountiful, utah .
>> just a beautiful anna, too.
>> that amazing footage too.
>> i thought that a majestic bird like that would have this amazing powerful -- but it's a tweet.
>> how was that again?
>> that's okay. it's is the