The American Eagle Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organization, visited TSA headquarters last week to thank TSA for the assistance and professionalism shown to them by TSA officers during the many travels of their non-releasable live bald eagle, named Challenger.
They were joined by Challenger, who was blown from his nest during a storm in Louisiana at a very young age, and then rescued and hand-raised by humans.
Challenger, who has lived with foundation for 23 years, is named in honor of the lost space shuttle crew and has flown more than 200 times at major sporting events and national conferences and ceremonies.
As with any potentially dangerous animal, traveling with a live bald eagle can be difficult. The foundation thanked TSA for providing consistently smooth and helpful screening for Challenger, and also the food and equipment he requires. In 2013, TSA supported the organization at nearly a dozen airports nationwide.
“Our field personnel have done an outstanding job of supporting the American Eagle Foundation in dozens of cities in the last couple of years, most especially in Knoxville, Nashville, and Atlanta,” said Director of Field Operations Scott McShaffrey.
“Screening a large bird of prey is not a common occurrence, but they have been able to make it happen with an incredible sense of customer service and pride. It is great to see the agency recognized for their hard work.”