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North Buncombe High mascot restored after senior prank left it damaged

The black hawk statue at North Buncombe High School is back on its perch in front of the school just in time for graduating seniors to see it. It was damaged last year after a senior prank went wrong. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A North Buncombe High School landmark has been restored after last year's senior prank went wrong.

The black hawk statue is back on its perch in front of the school just in time for graduating seniors to see it.

Principal Samantha Sircey revealed the statue to the senior class Wednesday afternoon.

"It is with all the pleasure and happiness in my heart that I show you your school complete," she said.

North Buncombe High School's class of '74 donated the statue more than 40 years ago. The bird became a landmark to the school, and students are happy it is back.

"We were bummed," student Brooke Kest said. "It was a legendary prank. I saw it on social media. I didn’t think it was true. I’m just glad we have it back."

Last year, a handful of students stole the bird statue and damaged it when they removed it as a senior prank. Both wings and the tail feather were broken.

The students were not charged with trespassing or larceny since they returned the statue.

The school district said all the restitution that was owed was paid, but it was not cheap.

"Haven’t gotten the bill yet, but the estimate was between $4,000-$8,000," Sircey said.

It took a local auto shop a year to restore the beloved bird statue, which weighs hundreds of pounds.

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