It’s a sad day for the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy's official falcon mascot, Aurora, died Wednesday afternoon after falling ill in recent months. The Academy's website says the 23-year old bird was euthanized by a veterinarian near Colorado Springs this afternoon after a blood test showed her internal organs were shutting down.
Aurora was a white phase gyrfalcon, a "species that is extremely rare in the wild," according to the school's falconry program. She served as the academy's mascot for more than two decades.
Aurora made national news last year when she was abducted by Army Cadets as a prank. The Air Force cadets who work with the birds spend two months in training and are tested before they can handle them.