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12 December 2013 11:00 AM | By howzitMSN
Kayla - The Next Breed Of Mascot

A New Kind Of Football Mascot



Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© Crystal Palace Football Club)
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  • Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© ANDREW WINNING/Newscom/RTR)
  • Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© STEFAN WERMUTH/Newscom/RTR)
  • Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© STEFAN WERMUTH/Newscom/RTR)
  • Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© ANDREW WINNING/Newscom/RTR)
  • Kayla The North American Bald Eagle (© Crystal Palace Football Club)
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Many football teams in England's top flight have animals associated with them - Chelsea, Sunderland and Aston Villa have a lion on their respective badges, Hull City a tiger, while Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich, Swansea, Liverpool and West Brom have birds. However, none of the teams have been clever enough to bring those animals to life for the fans (guys in mascot outfits don't count)... until now.

Crystal Palace have taken their association with the eagle to the next level, with Kayla the North American Bald Eagle paid tribute to before every home match at Selhurst Park.

The majestic bird of prey performs in front of her adoring crowd with the help of her handler, who instructs her to fly from one end of the pitch to the other, as well as perform acts only these big birds can. The introduction of Kayla was also intended to promote conservaion of her species.

While it would be foolish (and cruel) to think that Chelsea would have a real lion on the pitch for their next home game, what Palace have done with Kayla is bring a new dimension to the football world, with their beloved eagle creating a togetherness amongst the crowd whenever she soars above the pitch.

Click through the gallery to see Kayla putting smiles on the faces of the Selhurst Park faithful...

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