Auburn selling raptor gear from football games as fundraiser

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn University's raptor facility is selling some of the equipment used to handle eagles during their ceremonial flights before football games.

A statement from the school says the Southeastern Raptor Center at Auburn is holding online auctions for the cuffs, straps and lures used by handlers who take the field with the birds before home games.

The leather equipment helps handlers work with the birds, and the gear sometimes has marks from the birds' talons.

The first auction will occur before and after Auburn's season-opening football game against Tulane on Sept. 7. Seven auctions will be held in all.

The sales will help raise funds for the raptor center, which takes in birds of prey for medical care and rehabilitation. More than $40,000 already has been raised.