For 13 years, an eagle named Nova has served as the mascot for the Auburn Tigers under the name War Eagle VII. But health problems have kept the glorious bird from flying for two seasons.
Now, it appears that Nova has taken her final flight under the War Eagle name.
The school announced on Friday that Nova was being retired from the position of school mascot.
Replacing Nova will be a golden eagle named Aurea, who will be dubbed War Eagle VIII.
Nova made 58 pregame flights at Jordan-Hare Stadium and appeared at over 2,000 school events.
The eagle first took flight for a game in 2004 and was dubbed War Eagle VII in 2006. The Tigers have gone 44-14 in games with War Eagle VII.
But according to AL.com, the 22-year-old Nova was diagnosed with a heart disease that prevented it from flying. Nova had not taken flight since the diagnosis in 2017.
“The plan to retire Nova and name Aurea was already underway when we received the test results,” said Calvin Johnson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will take every precaution with Nova who has been an instrumental part of our Southeastern Raptor Center’s educational programs, even since being sidelined from flying at games.”
The school has been preparing for this day for a while.