People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for live animals to be banned from being used as mascots, by universities of Texas and Georgia after one of their mascots a 1,600-pound steer, Bevo XV charged at the other teams mascot a 62-pound bulldog, Uga X before Tuesday nights Allstate Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans.
Its indefensible to subject animals to the stress of being packed up, carted from state to state, and paraded in front of a stadium full of screaming fans. Its no surprise that a skittish steer would react to a perceived threat by charging, and PETA is calling on the University of Texas and the University of Georgia to learn from this dangerous incident, retire their live-animal mascots, and stick to the talented costumed mascots who can lead cheers, react to the crowd, and pump up the team,PETAs Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said.
The drama unfolded on live television when bothanimals were being positioned for a pregame photo op on the sidelines, roughly an hour before the game was about to start. Uga Xs handler was taking the bulldog over to Bevo XVs makeshift pen where the animals were supposed to be friendly towards each other, making for a good photo op. However, the end result was something that was not anticipated.
Bevo XV knocked down the metal barriers surrounding it and charged at Uga X and the nearby media personnel. The incident led to a few moments of utter chaos in the arena, with the TV announcer going, Oh my lord! Can live television get better than that?
Within a few seconds, however, the Texas Silver Spurs handlers were able to bring the steer back into control and no one was seriously harmed. One cameraman, however, lifted up his shirt later on, to reveal a longhorn-sized bruise on his back.
Patrick Dowell, a Texas senior and one of Bevos handlers said that everything was fine leading up to the incident. We were trying to turn him [Bevo XV] around to take a picture, and he made a run for it. He was just going to say hi,he told ESPN.
Charles Seiler, who was handling Uga X, however, recalled being scared for his life. I had him [Uga X] turned around. He heard it and he didnt wait. He ran. And I ran, he said.
Regardless of PETAs statement, John Baker, the owner of the ranch where Bevo XV was bred, said violent behavior was not characteristic of the steer. Hes as docile as a lamb, Baker said. Thats the first time hes done that this year. Hes a healthy and happy Bevo.
According to Sports Day, it is unlikely that universities will get rid of their live animal mascots any time soon, as they have been a proud tradition of the teams for years. The first Bevo appeared all the way back in 1916 and the first Uga came in 1956.
In this image, Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo XV enters the stadium before the game against the USC Trojans at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, Sept. 15, 2018.Photo: Getty Images/ Tim Warner
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