Long-Time Air Force Falcon Mascot Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries During Army Prank
The Denver Post/YouTube

Aurora, a white gyrfalcon Air Force mascot, sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of an army prank that went too far.

The prank was carried out by West Point cadets as a part of Air Force/Army week, according to Colorado Springs' newspaper, The Gazette.



Academy sources said the 22-year-old falcon was "stolen" from an Army colonel's house before West Point's annual football game against rivals Army, in upstate New York.

Both of Aurora's wings were damaged while the cadets kept the live-mascot, but specifics as to how it happened was not disclosed.

Lt. Col Tracy Bunko gave a status update and was hopeful Aurora would recover from her injuries.

"USAFA mascot Aurora was injured over the weekend and is being transported back to Colorado."
"We have specialists at the academy who have the best training and facilities for her care. She is part of our academy family and we are all hoping for her full and speedy recovery."

Gyrfalcons like Aurora living in captivity can live up to 25 years, according to Teton Raptor Center.

But an anonymous Air Force official believes the falcon may have to be euthanized from the injuries due to her advanced age.

This set off a fury of indignation over the cadets' prank.






Stealing mascots between Navy and Army rivals is a centuries-old tradition, with the most notable being West Point's kidnapping of the Navy's goat on November 22, 1953, according to Vice.

Aurora is one of half a dozen birds handled by a dozen cadets but was considered to be the grand dame of the flock as she has traveled with the cadets for two decades.

She is described as having a "well-known temper and flighty nature," which prevented the falcon from participating as a flying mascot. But Aurora was docile enough for people to get up close and pose for pictures.


The U.S. Air Force Fighter Pilots tweeted some good news in an update.


H/T - ViceSports, YouTube, Twitter, Gazette

People Explain Which Professions They Have Absolutely No Respect For
Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

Have you ever heard of a certain job that people call a career and thought... "PEOPLE PAY YOU FOR THAT?!?!"

All hard, honest work is good work.

And then there is just trash work.

And I don't mean garbage collection, that is honest work.

I don't know how some people live with themselves.

Redditor MrTuxedo1 wanted to discuss the careers they don't believe people should chase. They asked:

"What job do you have no respect for?"
Keep reading... Show less

The nose is constantly being attacked by odors of the world.

Going through one day without having to hold my breath during a certain point, is a miracle.

Of course, I'm a New Yorker, so I maybe exaggerating for people in the countryside.

What's funnier is odors that are pleasant, that shouldn't be.

Have you ever looked and something and thought... "yuck."

But then you smelled it and it was like... "oh lovely,"

Redditor HappQueue wanted to know what aromas are arousing to the senses that may come as a surprise to many. They asked:

"What smells good but shouldn't?"
Keep reading... Show less
People Explain Which Things They've Lost That They'd Love To Be Reunited With
Barrett Ward on Unsplash

At one point in time, we've misplaced things that we've considered priceless possessions.

Keep reading... Show less
People Imagine How They'd Survive A Deadly Home Invasion
Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

What's worse than returning home from a night out or a workday and discovering your home was broken into? Being home when the break-in happens.

Keep reading... Show less