On “Golden Eagle Day” at Oral Roberts University last week, a bald eagle named Lewis was part of a special chapel service marking the start of the 2013 fall semester when things went horribly wrong.
Lewis was supposed to fly from the back of the chapel and land on the arm of his handler, Roger Wallace of the World Bird Sanctuary, who was standing on the front stage with ORU president Dr. William Wilson.
Instead, Lewis veered off track and swooped over the heads of the students, who were chanting “USA! USA!” Then this happened:
Yes, Lewis, our nation’s symbol, inexplicably crashed into the window and fell to the ground in a heap amid gasps and shrieks from the audience.
“It’s OK, it’s OK,” Wilson assured the crowd. “Roger’s got it.”
Wallace walked over to the fallen eagle and picked it up. Lewis appeared no worse for wear.
“It was a bit shocking to see, but we’re thankful the eagle is OK,” ORU spokeswoman Carissa Bratschun told the Tulsa World (via Christian Post). “It had practiced five or six times. When the time came, we’re not sure what happened. It flew around the room and then hit a window.”
Perhaps Lewis was a bit perturbed about following a golden eagle onto the stage. Or, this is just a clumsy bird.
After all, Lewis was hatched in the wild in Washington and fell from the nest, fracturing his hip and leg. Once rehabilitated, Lewis was unable to return to the wild because he didn’t have the full use of his foot.
Here’s hoping Lewis avoids any more pratfalls and starts flying straight again.
An expanded version of the video can be seen here: