Nova "War Eagle VII" won't fly before Auburn football games

Auburn's eagle named Nova flies down onto the football field before an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Auburn's well-known "War Eagle VII" will not fly during pregame events during the school's football season.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports that Nova will not fly after Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine faculty diagnosed the 18-year-old golden eagle with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart.

Southeastern Raptor Center Director Dr. Jamie Bellah says a bald eagle named Spirit will assume pregame flight duties.

A following routine checkup found that Nova had an abnormal heart rhythm. A CT angiogram showed areas of significant constriction of his right brachiocephalic trunk, one of the large blood vessels near Nova's heart, as the cause of cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia, an irregular or abnormal heartbeat.

Nova was hatched in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and went to Auburn the following year. Nova was titled War Eagle VII in 2006.

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