WEST POINT, N.Y. – A West Point prank gone wrong could mean the 22-year-old live mascot for the Air Force Academy may be euthanized. Air Force played Army on the road on Saturday for the annual rivalry game.
Air Force officials confirm to CBS4 the bird was injured and was taken to be seen by a specialist in Colorado Springs.
The Gazette reports the white gyrfalcon, named Aurora, was taken from an Army colonel’s home. While being kept by the Army cadets, the bird’s wings were injured.
An Air Force official told the newspaper the bird may need to be euthanized as a result. On Sunday, officials said Aurora was able to fly around in her pen, and she will see a specialist Sunday afternoon to determine if x-rays are needed.
“She is part of our academy family and we are all hoping for her full and speedy recovery,” said Lt. Col. Tracy Bunko, a spokeswoman for the academy.
Mascot stealing has been tied to the rivalry between Navy and Army for more than a century, the Gazette reported. West Point has been known for “getting the Navy’s goat,” a reference to the Naval Academy mascot.
However, the Air Force’s birds are supposed to be guarded when they travel.
Army held off Air Force 17-14 on Saturday for the 11th consecutive time.
The Commander in Chief’s Trophy will stay in the Army locker room.