Auburn University Eagle Lures Auctioned After Each Home Game to Raise Money for Southeastern Raptor Center
Spirit is getting ready to fly in the first home game against Alabama State this Saturday. Part of that practice is landing on a lure in the middle of the field.
Spirit knows, flying to that leather pouch earns her a treat.
“It lures the eagles to us, so on game day the eagle is looking for the lure because they know as soon as they touch it, they’ll get a food reward,” said Andrew Hopkins, Assistant Director Raptor Training & Education.
The Raptor Center decorates a special lure for each game. In 2013, the university gave permission to auction off the lure after each game.
“She’ll touch it once and then we’ll put it up and auction it off. So, it’s very unique for each individual game,” said Rhett LaPorte, Raptor Specialist.
The lure’s are a big hit with the Auburn family.
“A bunch of die hard Auburn fans love the lures, especially a big game like the kick 6 game, there was a lot of online fighting,” said LaPorte.
Volunteers submit designs. University and the opposing school approve the artwork before it goes on the lure.
“Sometimes the opposing team doesn’t like the design because it shows a tiger or eagle eating their mascot,” said Hopkins.
The lure auctions have already brought in $40,000 for the Raptor Center.
“Every little bit helps. We depend on the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine, the university, private and public donations, shows and the auction for funding. Just feeding the bird out here cost $70,000 a year,” said Hopkins.
So, these special tools serve an important purpose during the famous pre-game tradition,are a popular keepsake and help to support the stars of it all, the famous Auburn “war eagles”.
Bidding starts Thursday before the home game at 2:30 p.m. and ends Monday at 2:30 p.m.
For non SEC games they start at $250, for SEC games bidding starts at $500.