A video went viral Tuesday after Texas mascot Bevo broke through a metal enclosure into an area where Georgia mascot Uga was being photographed before the Sugar Bowl.
The situation got quickly under control as the steer’s handlers prevented him from harming the bulldog or other people in the area.
Wednesday, however, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals used the incident to renew its call for universities to drop their use of live animal mascots.
“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,” PETA wrote on a blog on its website.
PETA said it sent a letter to both universities decrying the practice, called on Texas and Gerogia to “learn from this dangerous incident” and retire their live animal mascots.
“(The live animal mascots are) frequently carted around to sporting events and public appearances, which are confusing and frightening for them,” PETA said in the blog. “Human mascots can engage with sports fans, pose for pictures, lead cheers, and pump up their teams and fans much better than a terrified animal can. They’re also much less expensive for schools, and some universities offer scholarships for student mascots.”