War Eagle Ceremonies Set for Georgia Game

Auburn, Ala.--War Eagle VI, Auburn's 26-year-old golden eagle mascot, will be officially retired on Saturday prior to AU's home football game vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Eagle called "Tiger" has represented the university since 1986 at thousands of events and the bird has been flying in pre-game ceremonies since the 2000 season. In 2002 she flew during the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

AU veterinarians diagnosed a recurring mass on Tiger's right leg as skin cancer earlier this year. The low-grade tumor was surgically removed again in June and was treated with radiation therapy.

Tiger is shown at an Auburn football game.

At halftime ceremonies during the Auburn-Georgia game, Auburn officials will present a six-year-old golden eagle named "Nova" as the new official eagle of Auburn University and will name the bird "War Eagle VII." Nova has been making pre-game flights at Jordan-Hare Stadium for three years along with an 11-year-old bald eagle named Spirit that has been doing it for five years.

Nova was born in captivity in the Montgomery Zoo in 1999 and was transferred to Auburn when he was six months old.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took Tiger from an illegal breeding operation in Missouri and placed her briefly in a rehabilitation facility in Kentucky before moving her to Auburn. For most of her time at Auburn, she was cared for by Auburn University students in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

Tiger is shown in a pre-game flight at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

In 2005, Tiger was recognized for her contributions to Auburn and to the state of Alabama by being inducted into the Alabama Animal Hall of Fame.

The pre-game ceremonies are popular with Auburn football fans.

The eagles are cared for by The Southeastern Raptor Center, which has a mission to promote wildlife conservation with the educational use of birds of prey, to rehabilitate ill and injured raptors and to collaborate in raptor research efforts. The center is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine.


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