Air Force mascot, injured at West Point, improving

The Sports Xchange

November 04, 2018 at 1:02 pm.

The Air Force Academy on Sunday said its mascot that suffered life-threatening injuries over the weekend was showing signs of improvement.

Aurora, the Academy’s beloved white gyrfalcon mascot, was taken by West Point cadets from an Army colonel’s house as part of a prank. The 22-year-old mascot suffered injuries to both wings, according to an Air Force spokesman.

Associate Athletic Director Troy Garnhart told KKTV of Colorado Springs that Aurora was in “bad shape,” and the academy might have to euthanize her.

But after flying back to Colorado Springs late Saturday, Aurora seemed to be feeling better Sunday.

“Aurora returned home last night and as of this morning was able to fly around her pen. She will see a specialist later today who will determine if X-rays are necessary, but this is an extremely good sign. We will continue to evaluate her and administer antibiotics to prevent an infection. We are grateful for the outpouring of support and optimistic for Aurora’s recovery,” said Lt. Col. Tracy Bunko in a statement Sunday afternoon.

Army won the game, 17-14.

Aurora has traveled with the team for more than two decades and often poses for the crowds, KKTV said.