A Bald Eagle Got Confused During The Cotton Bowl And Landed On Surprised Football Fans
This is incredible!
Some football fans at the Cotton Bowl ducked out of the way on Saturday when a bald eagle, trained to fly around the stadium during the National Anthem and land on the field, grew confused and landed on two fans in the stands instead.
The eagle, named Clark, was supposed to circle AT&T Stadium and land on the field to kick off the College Football Playoff semi-final game between Clemson and Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas.
But as he made his way around the stadium, Clark startled the crowd by landing on the back of a surprised Notre Dame fan. He remained there for only a few seconds before taking off again, as captured by Twitter user Ross Dellenger.
The eagle landed all right. On a Notre Dame fan. pic.twitter.com/6koNTfitvm
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 29, 2018
Another Notre Dame fan then stuck his right arm out and Clark swooped down and perched on it until his trainer, Daniel Cone, came to pick him up.
Amused fans pulled out their phones and recorded photos and video of Clark’s adventure, including Kimberley Martin, a sportswriter who was in the audience.
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) December 29, 2018
Clark, an American Bald Eagle, was born at the World Bird Sanctuary near St. Louis, Missouri. Due to a deformity in the scales of his talons, he couldn’t be released into the wild. So Clark entered the center’s flight-training program and is now one of their flying ambassadors.
Clark has performed at St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, Chicago Bears games and at the PBR World Finals, the bull-riding competition in Las Vegas.
This was Clark’s first time performing at AT&T stadium and it was his biggest venue, according to Cotton Bowl officials.
Before the game, the bird and his handlers practiced his routine without a hitch.
— Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (@CottonBowlGame) December 29, 2018
No injuries occurred during Clark’s detour-filled flight, and the eagle is now resting with his handlers.
“While Clark’s flight at the Cotton Bowl did not go as planned today, he is safe and sound,” posted the World Bird Sanctuary on Facebook. “He tried his best in this very large, new, busy place, and is now relaxing with us and has enjoyed his planned victory meal. He will always be a champion to us!”
Some people on Twitter thought Clark’s choice of landing spots might have been a good omen for Notre Dame. But Clemson beat out the Fighting Irish, 30-3.
By Amanda Jackson for CNN.
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