Concerns Raised Over Use of Live Animal Mascots at Sporting Events

A viral video from the Sugar Bowl showing University of Texas’ longhorn steer Bevo breaking through an enclosure and charging into an area where University of Georgia’s bulldog Uga was being photographed has renewed concerns for live animal mascots, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on its blog condemned the use of animal mascots, saying “It’s quite possible that Bevo was simply scared by the noise, lights, and chaos in the stadium and tried to flee from the confines of his makeshift pen. But that doesn’t change the fact that Uga or any of the humans standing nearby could easily have been trampled and killed.” The University of Tennessee’s coonhounds, called Smokey, have been docile and without injury since introduced in 1953, minus one incident in 2006 when Smokey IX nipped an Alabama receiver after the player fell on him while running out of bounds to catch a pass.

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