AIR FORCE ACADEMY — The Air Force Academy announced Wednesday that their beloved mascot has died.
The Academy said it is deeply saddened to announce that Aurora, the Academy's official mascot, died midday today, Oct. 2nd.
Aurora was a White Phase Gyrfalcon and the Academy's oldest mascot. She was 23-years-old, roughly twice the age of falcons in the wild, according to the Academy.
Aurora was quite rare, as only three percent of all falcons are Gyrfalcons and only one percent of Gyrfalcons are white.
The unique falcon was not one of the Academy's performance falcons but she did often make public appearances and was known across the cadet wing for her lively spirit, according to the Academy.
“Our hearts go out to our master-and cadet-falconers, who lovingly cared for and trained Aurora for more than two decades,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Academy Superintendent. “Emblematic of the beauty and majesty of our Falcons, Aurora will be greatly missed by generations of cadets, graduates, faculty members, and so many others.”
Aurora was gifted to the Academy by its Association of Graduates in 2000.