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Owl Dies After Being ‘Punted’

Written by PETA | March 2, 2011

Despite emergency veterinary care, an owl who was used as the mascot of Colombian football team Junior de Barranquilla died after Luis Moreno, a member of a visiting team, viciously kicked the bird after the dazed owl—who had already been hit by a ball—wandered out onto the field. Outraged fans watched in horror and disbelief and showered Moreno with cries of “Murderer!” He was escorted from the stadium by guards.

Animals used as team mascots are always the “losers.” Housed in cramped, barren cages and denied everything that is natural and important to them, animal mascots often meet very grim ends. A ram used by the University of North Carolina was gutted—his throat was cut and his shoulder was cut off—and at Texas Tech, three horse mascots were killed over a 10-year period.

PETA has appealed to Louisiana State University to stop hauling out a tiger in front of tens of thousands of screaming football fans and asked Baylor University to stop ripping bear cubs from their mothers to become “Baylor bears.” You can help by urging schools that are still putting animals at risk to retire their mascots for good.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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  • Joshua says:

    I have to agree with Melmac here PETA – as I’ve been one who nearly got kicked out of school defending our mascot’s safety. He wasn’t a wild animal, but he was one that people could easily harm. Tried to get the school to listen to humane alternatives, but right now it’s still no go, so I valiantly defend the mascot at the risk of losing my scholarship.

  • melmac says:

    PETA – why don’t you just answer me with a logical answer. This isn’t one. I find it disgusting you’d slur people who go out of their way to save and take care of animals. My own school actually started a petition to guarantee their live mascot was not turned into hamburger meat and was put to pasture – green pastures that is, not euphamism for slaughter. They also won. As I said, I find it appalling you’d slander those who can and have been expelled for mistreating animals at colleges. But you also need an education – since you won’t post this up, feel free to e-mail me at this e=mail I’ve posted above and I’ll be happy to go into detail with the TRUTH. But I doubt you’ll do it, because the truth hurts your organization.

  • PETA says:

    Melmac, animals used as mascots are often forced to participate in situations that are entirely alien to them. Some animals are taken from their homes in the wild, and most are kept in extreme confinement and deprived of all that is natural and important to them, including companionship and a spacious, enriching environment. No amount of “respect” can make up for the loneliness and deprivation many animals experience when used for human entertainment.

  • melmac says:

    Nancy, you still don’t get the point. These people CARE – and I know of at least one or two people nearly expelled for not keeping guard on those animals. A loss of at least $16,000 (my school) for a year’s worth of tuition (alone) for animal abuse is pretty harsh. Please tell me why you think that people who don’t spend HOURS on end at these shelters and the like, even sleeping in the pens (well horses and the like) to guard them from harm are somehow “uncaring”? Ones who immediately tell the heads of the school if said animal is indeed harmed in the slightest way, even refusing to participate in that week’s activities if it will harm the animal is Uncaring? I’d like to know – a straight up honest answer please and not this “you must have a twisted sense caring” comments again. But to be fair, if you really want to stop it however, petition schools to stop and offer well-thought out plans to do it. Complaining does nothing more than keep it going. I rarely have seen a complaint filed to any school in regard to these animals ever pass, and it’s because most of the time it’s just this “You’re being cruel” comments with NO logical or legitimate ways to change tradition. (I.e. Robotic animals is not a legitimate reason, and can actually go and harm people more).

  • jeff ircink says:

    so what is PETA doing about this incident?