AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor Center will begin a live online auction of one-of-a-kind jesses and lures handcrafted especially for the Auburn eagle’s gameday flight to support the center’s mission of rehabilitation, education and conservation.
Fans will be able to place bids at the auction site, www.getluredin.com, beginning Friday, Nov. 22, for jesses and the lure to be used on the eagle during the Nov. 30 pregame flight for the Auburn-Alabama game, set for a nationally televised audience on CBS. Fans can go to the website and bid from 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, until 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Following the close of that auction, jesses and lures from other 2013 home games will be auctioned on the same site.
Jesses are cuffs worn around the eagle’s ankles with straps to assist the handler to securely hold the eagle. The lure is used by the handler to entice the eagle to land midfield and often has talon marks from being used. The items are handmade and uniquely decorated by volunteers or staff of the Southeastern Raptor Center and are used one time – during the Auburn eagle’s pre-game flight.
Auburn University student and SRC volunteer Pia Kulakowski, a senior from Mobile double majoring in zoology and Spanish, designed the jesses and lures worn by the eagles for the Alabama and Georgia home games.
She has crafted other jesses and lures in the past three years, and for the Georgia game, decided to decorate the lure with an eagle dropping a bulldog on Jordan-Hare Stadium. For Alabama, the lure features a carved and painted golden eagle on one side, and the logos of Auburn University and the University of Alabama on the other.
“These items are truly a rare piece of Auburn memorabilia and something every Auburn fan will want to own,” said Dr. Jamie Bellah, director of the Southeastern Raptor Center and head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are proud to offer these items to Auburn fans in support of the educational mission of the raptor center.”
Bellah said center staff considered how to best raise funds to support the Southeastern Raptor Center, a nonprofit division of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine with a threefold mission of rehabilitation, education and conservation.
The role of Auburn University’s eagles is to promote wildlife conservation as a part of the education initiative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Raptor center staff care for and train Auburn’s eagles – Nova, a golden eagle who is War Eagle VII, and Spirit, a bald eagle. Retired golden eagle, Tiger, War Eagle VI, also is housed at the center and is used in the center’s many education programs.
In addition to the Auburn eagles, the center rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned raptors admitted for a variety of ailments. Many are rehabilitated and released, but when that is not possible, the bird becomes a permanent resident at the center or is transferred to another educational facility. The center also conducts more than 350 educational programs yearly, going to schools and events to educate the public about the importance of birds of prey.
(Written by Janet McCoy.)