Air Force mascot seriously injured in prank showing signs of improvement

It seems the Air Force Academy’s falcon seriously injured during a prank before the annual football game against Army on Saturday, is following the military branch’s motto: Aim high, fly-fight-win.

Aurora, the 22-year-old a white phase gyrfalcon who suffered unspecified injuries to both wings after being “stolen” by Army cadets, has made progress and “was able to fly around in her pen,” an Air Force spokesperson told ESPN.

The bird was still receiving antibiotics and will continue to be evaluated, but the development was considered a good sign in the recovery, the report said.

The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported that Army cadets had taken Aurora from an Army colonel’s house as part of a prank during the week leading up to Saturday’s game at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

There is a tradition of stealing mascots, but this is reportedly the first time the Army was able to take the falcon. A source told The New York Times that cadets threw sweaters over the bird and likely sustained injuries from flailing in a dog crate. They likely held the bird for a few hours and “realized it was a bad mistake.”

Officials at West Point apologized and vowed to investigate, ESPN reported.

"We are taking this situation very seriously, and this occurrence does not reflect the Army or USMA core values of dignity and respect," the academy said in a statement.

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report 

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