Famed golden eagle Tiger, a symbol of the Auburn University spirit for nearly 30 years, died June 18, 2014. At 34, she was believed to be among the oldest golden eagles in captivity.
On Aug. 31, 2000, Tiger, who was also known as War Eagle VI, was the first eagle to fly free in Jordan-Hare Stadium. For seven years, she flew at home football games and was retired following her 2006 flight at the Auburn-Georgia game.
Tiger underwent surgery June 17 to remove a cataract in her left eye, when a team of veterinarians determined surgery was needed. "The cataract was progressing, and without surgery a complete loss of vision was expected," said Dr. Jamie Bellah, director of the Southeastern Raptor Center and head of the College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Clinical Sciences.
"Tiger came through surgery and anesthesia well and progressed normally during recovery," said Bellah. "A turn for the worse occurred during the night. We, like the Auburn family, are heartbroken by her death." A post-mortem examination (necropsy) has been requested. Plans for a memorial are pending.
RIP, 34-year-old eagle, beloved in a part of Alabama. We are very surprised and impressed to learn that eagles can live to the age of 34. Your duties are in good talons.
Here's Nova, one of Auburn's two current golden eagles, in action:
John Reed, USA Today