That’s One Way to Escape from Oral Roberts University…

Last week, at a back-to-school rally at Oral Roberts University, a bald eagle made an appearance. A very brief appearance.

University officials hired World Bird Sanctuary, in Valley Park, Mo., [to] bring in a real bald eagle to raise the student’s excitement.

The eagle, named Lewis, was supposed to fly from the top of the chapel down to its trainer on stage, but got disoriented…

And this is what happened, amid chants of “U.S.A.”

It’s understandable that, after being captured and exploited, these creatures might go out of control when given the tiniest bit of freedom. You only hope that they can mature and heal and find a better path going forward.

But enough about the students.

The eagle, we’re told, is okay. (You can see a little more of the SFW aftermath in the first minute of this video.)

To answer the question many are asking online, yes, this was legal, though that didn’t necessarily make it a smart decision.

I guess ORU officials should just be glad their mascot isn’t a lion…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mick

    Christians have dominion over all creatures. They can do what they like.

  • koseighty

    So how’s that dominion thing working out?

  • Mick


  • LesterBallard

    Have they turned it into some kind of “this is what’s happening to AMERICA under the Socialist/Muslim/Anti-Christ Obama” deal ?

  • LesterBallard

    They sound like they’re all simultaneously having orgasms.

  • Jeffrey A Berkbigler

    In defense of the WBS, they do great work in bird conservation and frequently bring eagles to public spaces for these sorts of demonstrations without incident. We in St. Louis are very proud to have them in our back yard. This was an unfortunate occurance that should not mar the work the organization does which humanists could easily back.

  • advancedatheist

    Looks like something you’d see on The Simpsons.

    Does ORU have any reason to exist now? Oral Roberts built it as a monument to his ego, but he died a few years ago, and his sleazy son had to resign from the presidency in disgrace. It has received massive infusions of cash from the Oklahoma businessman who founded the Hobby Lobby chain to pay its creditors, but in general the place can’t operate sustainably.

  • Truthmatters

    How fucking dumb can people be? Poor eagle.

  • SeekerLancer

    I love birds and I’m glad the eagle is okay and that I can laugh at this video with a clear conscience.

  • sam

    I can’t think of a more deserving crowd for a bald eagle to shit on.

  • allein

    University officials hired World Bird Sanctuary, in Valley Park, Mo., [to] bring in a real bald eagle to raise the student’s excitement.

    Only one student?

  • James_Jarvis

    Apparently the eagle was the only living creature at ORU that had the good sense to try and get out there.

  • b s

    Sorry, I know this is completely unrelated, but the name of the university fits too well and I have to share.

    There was a recent local obituary where an 80-ish year old woman passed away with the most unfortunate name possible. Oral Swallow. I have no idea how she got along in life.

  • islandbrewer

    They could only find one who appreciated wildlife.

  • islandbrewer

    Personally, I think the poor thing took one look around and tried to commit suicide.

  • captain_picard

    Absolutely. It seems a bit irresponsible on the part of the school and audience to be making such a ruckus; my guess would be that had something to do with disorienting the bird. I’ve been to several WBS presentations and they were all great (and the animals all behaved as expected, with no injuries).

  • Paul (not the apostle)

    Even a animal driven by instinct knows enough to make a break for it and escape ORU. Why can’t the reasoning beings figure the same thing out. Oh yes, I forgot they are not reasoning beings

  • doug105

    He never said he agrees with it just how they see it.

  • koseighty

    Dominion implies control. And from the video, they didn’t have any. And my comment was an attempt at a joke. Sorry about that.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    The rest wouldn’t be convinced by anything less than a crocoduck.

  • EvolutionKills

    Maybe the Eagle was trying to go home?

  • m6wg4bxw

    Well, I’m inspired. Anyone have a U.S. flag I can burn?

  • Guest

    I’m sure it was tough, but she just had to suck it up.
    Sorry… too soon?

  • DavidMHart

    I’m reminded of a joke whereby an American visitor, gauging public sentiment in a foreign country (doesn’t matter which one) in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion says to a local: “Wow; you’ve got to hand it to us as a unifying force: we’ve managed to unite just about the whole world against us. You all should get your own flag”. The local says “Actually, we already do”
    “Oh really? What’s it look like?”
    “Same as yours, but on fire”

    Ba-doum ksh.

  • Holytape

    Well, I believe the Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus L., was just confused, and wondering what the hell it was doing there considering that the schools mascot is the Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos L. I mean, they are not even in the same subfamily.

  • Ruth

    WBS doesn’t capture wild birds. Injured animals are treated and only kept if they would not be able to cope in the wild-an eagle partly blinded would starve in the wild, but can be used to teach kids about eagles. St. Louis has Todd Akins, but we also have WBS and our Endangered Wolf Sanctuary. Our family has had many pleasant visits to both. (One of the weirdest was walking by wolf enclosures when a tornado siren went off-all the wolves joined in. Spine-chilling.) If you visit St. Louis, they are both worth a look.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    With or without the crash, they basically turned this bird into a circus animal. If we as a species cannot get behind conservancy without insisting on a spectacle as the price of our buy in, we do not deserve to survive as a species ourselves.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Well, the intellect of birds is celebrated in various clichés I won’t bother to mention and they still rank higher on the IQ scale than this brand of mouth-breathing (“USA! USA!”) evangelical Christianist.

  • islandbrewer

    That thar’ is dangerously close to evilution talk, troublemaker! All yer fancy latin and greek and taxonomy ain’t welcome at God’s school!

  • DVMstudent

    Any wild bird sanctuary/rescue should know that combining a large, noisy crowd of people with big picture windows would have ended in exactly this result. This was entirely predictable. In fact, window crashes are how the majority of birds wind up at wildlife rescues. It’s simply not possible for them to claim that this was unexpected. It showed extremely poor judgement on behalf of the WBS.

  • Thomas J. Lawson

    This is quite the elaborate hoax. Nothing this perfectly stupid could possibly happen. I refuse to accept this as anything but a well executed masterpiece created by The Onion.

  • m6wg4bxw

    Delightful. Thank you for sharing.