By Michael Abeyta

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Air Force Academy’s mascot “Aurora” continues to recover after she was stolen in a rivalry prank over the weekend.

Colonel Jennifer Alexander, the falconry officer in charge, says the falcon is the mascot for the academy, “Largely because it represents aerial superiority.”

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That’s why they have all different types of falcons here at the Academy. Some are flyers and some are just for show, but the big bird on campus is Aurora. She is the official mascot of the United States Air Force Academy and she seems to know it.

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Cadet Casey Miller who works with the falcons says, “I mean she’s kind of got an attitude. She knows that she’s the queen bee of the Academy. She’s been here for 22 years and she’s been dealing with cadets for longer than I’ve been alive.”

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She’s such a big deal that she got to travel with the Air Force Academy football team when they took on Army this past weekend, but something went wrong on their trip. Aurora was hurt when a prank went wrong. Colonel Alexander points out, “As you can see she just has a couple of spots on the front of her wings where there is a little residual blood from some minor injuries.”

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The Academy is being pretty tight lipped about what actually happened and referring to West Point for information about the incident. All they will say is that Queen Aurora is going to be just fine and that they are lucky to be able to work with these birds every day.

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“It’s just such an honor for us to have them and to be able to take care of them every day,” said Alexander.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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