AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Nova, Auburn University’s famed golden eagle, could be in the early stages of heart failure, according to university veterinarians.
The 20-year-old male eagle, also known as War Eagle VII, received a biannual checkup in early October, followed by an echocardiogram on Oct. 31, at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Doctors observed decreased systolic function, or how well the heart is able to pump blood, and enlarged vessels in the eagle’s liver, which could be an indication of the early stages of heart failure.
In 2017, Nova was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart. He was sidelined from flying at football games to reduce stress.
Veterinarians have adjusted Nova’s dosage to hopefully improve his condition. Nova’s appearances at the Southeastern Raptor Center’s educational programs will be limited as veterinarians continue to monitor him, according to Andrew Hopkins, assistant director of raptor training and education.
According to the university, Nova was hatched in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and was non-releasable due to human imprinting. He went to Auburn in 2000 and made his first pre-game flight in 2004 and was designated War Eagle VII in 2006.