- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn’s golden eagle Nova won’t make the traditional pre-game flights at Jordan-Hare Stadium this season.

Southeastern Raptor Center Director Dr. Jamie Bellah said Monday that bald eagle Spirit will handle the flights instead.

Auburn’s veterinary medicine faculty diagnosed Nova with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart. An abnormal heart rhythm was detected during a routine checkup.

Nova has been placed on medications and is being monitored by raptor center staff. Veterinary medical staff decided that Nova should not be put in situations that cause his heart to work harder than usual.

Nova was hatched in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and came to Auburn in 2000. Spirit became the only bald eagle that has ever flown in Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2002.

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