Auburn, AlabamaWRBL) – This fall, Auburn University celebrates a remarkable milestone in the life of the AU-loved American bald eagle, Spirit. Spirit celebrates his 25th birthday on a pre-match flight around Jordan-Hare Stadium before retiring due to arthritis concerns.
The spiritual journey to the South Eastern Raptor Center of AU’s Veterinary School began in the late 90’s with an injured beak and wings. The spirit of returning to good health but unable to survive in the wild became a symbol of wildlife conservation in 2002 when it hit Jordan-Hare Stadium on a thrilling pre-match flight.
“We honor her and all that she worked as the Raptors ambassador, educated so many people through her flight, and participated in the Raptors Center’s educational program,” said AU’s Dean of Veterinary Medicine. Calvin Johnson said.
Sprit soared with 45 pre-match flights and 1800 educational presentations. The center’s mission is to treat injured birds of prey and return them to the wild. For raptors that cannot survive independently, the US Fish and Wildlife Service allows the Center to house and care for them and present them for conservation and wildlife education events.
Bald Eagle Indy, short for Independence and Golden Eagle Aurea, will debut on a pre-match flight this fall. The final pre-match flight of the Spirit will take place on November 13th, when Auburn University will host Mississippi at the Jordan-Hare Stadium. Even after she retires, Spirit’s educational mission will continue to teach children and adults of all ages the importance of wildlife conservation.
Auburn University’s Bald Eagle Spirit will retire from pre-match flight
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