Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl is attracting the attention of animal rights group PETA after a pre-game incident involving animal mascots for the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
The brief scuffle was captured on video and shows Longhorns mascot Bevo XV breaking through his barricade and charging Uga X. At least one person tripped as people scrambled to get away. Otherwise, the steer, bulldog, and humans were okay.
PETA is calling the incident a “near-tragedy” and is sending a letter to both teams asking them to get rid of their live mascots. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is encouraging followers and football fans to do the same.
“The frightening near-tragedy is yet another example of the reason most colleges and professional sports teams retired their live-animal mascots decades ago-and the handful who haven’t yet should quickly follow suit. If your favorite team is still forcing live animals to serve as mascots, please send a polite e-mail to its fundraising or community-outreach committee urging it to use willing human participants instead,” PETA posted online.
PETA believes animals should not be used for entertainment and feel human mascots are better entertainment for large crowds. They say live animals are held in captivity and often denied the opportunity to fulfill many of their most basic instincts.
“They’re frequently carted around to sporting events and public appearances, which are confusing and frightening for them. Human mascots can engage with sports fans, pose for pictures, lead cheers, and pump up their teams and fans much better than a terrified animal can. They’re also much less expensive for schools, and some universities offer scholarships for student mascots.”
News 3 is reaching out to the University of Georgia for a statement. We have also reached out to Auburn University where eagle mascots perform untethered pre-game flights over Jordan-Hare Stadium before home football games.