Celebrity Bald Eagle “Challenger” Soars at Indianapolis 500’s 100th Anniversary Running
June 2nd, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS — Millions of race fans from around the world got a very brief glimpse of the celebrity Bald Eagle “Challenger” as he soared over Turn One at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the singing of God Bless America (Indianapolis Children’s Choir) before the start of the Indy 500’s 100th Running race.
The lucky fans seated near “Turn One” got to enjoy the entire eagle flight, but as for the other tens of thousands of fans sitting and standing around the 2.5 mile track, as well as those millions watching the race on the ABC broadcast, they only got a ten-second glimpse of this majestic flying Symbol of the U.S.A.
The non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) has now released a full-length video of the flight, allowing millions of Indy race fans worldwide to enjoy this regal Eagle’s complete spectacular pre-race performance. Challenger is even wearing a lightweight action-cam on his back, providing a true eagles-eye view of the Speedway. Watch video HERE.
Challenger is a 27-year-old non-releasable Bald Eagle cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation in Tennessee (WWW.EAGLES.ORG). He was blown from a wild Louisiana nest as a baby in a storm and became accidentally human-imprinted by the people who rescued and hand-fed him. Thereafter, could no longer survive in the wild on his own.
Challenger is now a free-flying educational ambassador for his species in the wild, and travels around the country educating the public about the importance of Bald Eagle conservation and U.S. patriotism.
Over the past 20 years, Challenger has performed free-flight demonstrations at over 400 events coast to coast, including NFL Pro-Bowls, AFC Championships, Fiesta Bowls, MLB World Series games, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four, Daytona 500, BCS National Championships, National Soccer Championships, and countless other professional and collegiate sport games, as well as various corporate and charity events.
ABOUT AMERICAN EAGLE FOUNDATION (AEF)
The American Eagle Foundation (AEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to care for, restore, and protect the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey. For 31 years, the AEF has been carrying out its mission through Education, Repopulation, Conservation, & Rehabilitation. This public charity is headquartered at the Dollywood family theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN (who is the AEF’s primary sponsor). Learn more at www.eagles.org.