Bald Eagle Released During University’s Rally Crashes into Window amid Chants of ‘USA’


Nearly 4, 000 Oral Roberts University (ORU) students gathered at the Christ Chapel watched in dismay as a bald eagle, named Lewis, smacked into a window and fell to the floor on Aug.21.

Lewis, released from the upper balcony of the school's huge chapel/auditorium by an expert trainer, was supposed to fly above the crowd and land on the trainer's arm, who was standing on the stage. But instead crashed into the window and tumbled to the floor. However, the eagle survived without injuries.

"It was a bit shocking to see, but we're thankful the eagle is OK," university spokeswoman Carissa Bratschun said.

The bald eagle and a golden eagle were part of a special spirit day chapel service held last week to commemorate the beginning of yet another academic year at the university. For the special occasion, the University officials approached World Bird Sanctuary, in Valley Park, Mo., for a real bald eagle to boost the student's enthusiasm.

The national animal apparently panicked and circled the auditorium instead when the crowd began chanting "USA! USA! before crashing into the window.

"They'd practiced it many times, but the eagle just got disoriented," Lucas Cherry, a first-year MBA student at Oral Roberts said. "The eagle was perfectly fine."

Bratschun was surprised by the turn of the events and the bird's failure to follow the script. According to the university officials, Lewis has been giving such performances for several years and even practised at the Chapel ahead of the Aug. 21 service at ORU.

"It had practiced five or six times," Bratschun said. "When the time came, we're not sure what happened. It flew around the room and then hit a window."

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