Air Force’s live mascot, a 22-year-old white gyrfalcon named Aurora, was injured ahead of the Falcons’ game at Army on Saturday, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported.
According to The Gazette — which learned of the incident from an Air Force official speaking on condition of anonymity — West Point cadets removed the gyrfalcon from a colonel’s home as part of Army-Air Force prank week. While the animal was being kept in the cadets’ care, it reportedly suffered an injury to a wing. The same official said Aurora’s injury could necessitate its euthanization.
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Air Force athletic director Troy Garnhart confirmed Aurora’s injury and said the mascot was being brought back to Colorado Springs, Colo., on the football team’s chartered flight.
“Not sure of the extent, but we are getting it back to (Colorado Springs) where a specialist is to have it examined,” Garnhart said. “Our understanding is that it was taken from a residence.”
The Falcons lost to Army 17-14.
The Gazette reported that Air Force normally brings two falcons to games but only brought one this weekend.
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