Air Force’s falcon mascot reportedly kidnapped and injured by Army cadets

22-year old gyrfalcon Aurora may have to be euthanised due to her advanced age

Air Force’s mascot, a 22-year-old white gyrfalcon name Aurora, may have to be euthanised after she was kidnapped in a prank by West Point cadets in the run-up to a college football game in New York on Saturday.

Troy Garnhart, the associate athletic director for communications at the Air Force academy, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that Aurora had been taken from a colonel's house before the annual rivalry game between Air Force and Army on Saturday. Army were hosting the game between the two military academies at Michie Stadium and won 17-14.

"USAFA mascot Aurora was injured over the weekend and is being transported back to Colorado," academy spokesman Lt Col Tracy Bunko told the Gazette. "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."

An academy source told the Gazette that Aurora may have to be euthanised due to her advanced age – gyrfalcon typically live to around 25.

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The US Navy and Army academies have a long history of stealing each other’s mascots – goats and mules respectively. However, no one had ever stolen Air Force’s falcon before. – Guardian