AUSTIN — PETA on Wednesday renewed its call to colleges to end the usage of live animal mascots after the Texas Longhorns' Bevo charged at a crowd of people and the Georgia Bulldogs' mascot, Uga, at the Sugar Bowl.
Otherwise known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA published a blog post stating that this incident is an example of why other colleges and professional sports teams have retired live animal mascots in the past.
"Steers, like all animals, are individuals with unique personalities," writes Michelle Kretzer. "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."
KVUE spoke with the couple who raised Bevo earlier this fall at their ranch where they also train his handlers, the Silver Spurs.
"He's a live animal but he's pretty amazing. He's docile, always been relaxed when we've been around him," said Clayton Helbing, a UT Silver Spur.
Bevo's owners, Betty and John T. Baker, have owned the last three UT mascots. They said they teach his handlers how to keep him calm without using sedatives.
"They're interesting animals and they respond in kind. You treat them good, they treat you good," said John T. Baker. "There's never been one cc or one milliliter of any type of medication given to any sunrise steers since 1988."