They’re at it. Again.
Earlier this month, Colorado announced that its live buffalo mascot since 2008, Ralphie V, will be retired after this weekend’s home finale Washington. In that same announcement, the university confirmed that it is searching for a successor, which will make its debut in 2020.
If it’s up to the individuals at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, though, the live mascot program at CU will end with Ralphie V.
In a letter posted on its website and addressed to CU System President Mark Kennedy — and as they have done in the past when it comes to the likes of Texas (HERE), Georgia (HERE), LSU (HERE), Mississippi State (HERE), among others — PETA “respectfully request[ed] that you agree not to replace this individual with another animal but rather forgo their use from now on.”
From the letter, which you can read in full HERE:
Using live animals as mascots is often a recipe for disaster. For example, at this year’s Sugar Bowl, Bevo, the longhorn steer used by the University of Texas, broke out of an enclosure and charged the University of Georgia’s bulldog mascot, Uga, nearly trampling him. Then just last month, an Auburn University football player collided with Mississippi State University’s mascot, Bully. Mascots from falcons to big cats have sustained physical injuries because they were being used as living props.
Even if animals aren’t physically harmed, it’s hard to imagine that they enjoy being paraded before raucous crowds, entirely out of their element, and treated as if they were toys rather than living, feeling beings with interests, personalities, and needs of their own. Being forced into a stadium full of bright lights, exuberantly screaming fans, and loud noises is stressful—and can be terrifying—for animals who have no idea what’s going on or why.
Fortunately for those who appreciate the beloved tradition, Ralphie isn’t going anywhere, a university official has confirmed..