Auburn's University's famed golden eagle Nova, War Eagle VII, could be in the early stages of heart failure, according to the university's veterinarians.
The 20-year-old male was grounded from flights around Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2017 when he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is a chronic disease of the heart.
“Nova’s condition has been medically managed and he has remained stable during the past two years, however, during his October exam, we observed decreased systolic function and enlarged vessels in his liver,” Dr. Seth Oster, faculty avian veterinarian for the college’s Southeastern Raptor Center said in a university release. “This could be an indication of the early stages of heart failure.”
Nova was hatched in 1999 in the Montgomery Zoo and later came to Auburn in 2000. He made his first pre-game flight in 2004 and was named War Eagle VII in 2006.
Aurea, a 5-year-old female golden eagle, and Spirit, a 23-year-old female bald eagle, have made pregame flights this season and are regulars in the center's educational programs.