AUSTIN (KXAN) — The animal rights organization PETA is renewing its call to ban live-animal mascots after UT Austin’s Bevo charged Georgia’s bulldog mascot Uga at Tuesday’s Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Ahead of the game, Bevo suddenly charged at his barriers and pushed some out of the way, sending members of the media, spectators and Uga the Bulldog and his handlers running away from Bevo’s horns. It appeared to have been during a mascot meetup.
According to PETA, the incident could have been a potentially life-ending tragedy for the individuals and Uga standing in the Longhorn’s path.
The organization goes on to state that incidents like this are the reason most college and professional sports teams have retired live-animal mascots decades ago. PETA writes that these animals are “frequently carted around to sporting events and public appearances, which are confusing and frightening for them.”
Texas athletics confirms Bevo is not given any medication to calm him before a game.
The organization calls for schools to use human mascots that can more actively engage with fans. According to PETA, human mascots are less expensive for schools, and some universities offer scholarships for students to participate as a mascot.
Both Texas and Georgia use human mascots as well, and both were in attendance at the game Tuesday.