A national animal rights organization is urging the University of Georgia to retire Uga X after a widely publicized video showed a brief confrontation between the famed bulldog and a bovine at the Sugar Bowl.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement on Thursday asking both UGA and the University of Texas at Austin to replace their live animal mascots with people after the incident, which also involved the Texas mascot Bevo XV - a longhorn steer.
“It’s 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,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “It’s no surprise that a skittish steer would react to a perceived threat by charging.”
The organization has sent a message to both schools hoping to have them end a longtime practice prevalent at their school and many others.
The letter sent to the University of Texas by a PETA member claiming to be an alumnus of the school equates the use of live animal mascots to previously discontinued practices by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and SeaWorld.
"Most universities and professional sports teams use costumed human mascots instead of real animals," PETA's Neel Parekh said. "They can lead cheers, react to the crowd, and pump up the team—all things that a frightened animal can’t do."
11Alive is awaiting a response from UGA regarding the request.