PETA Calls On Kennesaw State University to Ground Live-Animal Mascots

An Arena Packed With Screaming Fans and Flashing Lights Is No Place for a Solitary, Nocturnal Owl, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Kennesaw, Ga. – Despite receiving information from PETA about the cruelty inherent in using live animals as mascots at sporting events, Kennesaw State University continues to force a live owl named Sturgis to appear at noisy, crowded news conferences, basketball games, and other events. In response, PETA has now posted an action alert on its popular website asking visitors to urge the school to nix live-animal mascots in favor of costumed-human mascots.

As PETA has pointed out in its letters to the school, a stadium or auditorium filled with screaming fans, flashing lights, and a booming sound system is an entirely unsuitable environment for birds—especially a solitary and nocturnal owl—as they can become disoriented and be seriously injured or even killed. Birds at sporting events have slammed into windows, broken loose from their handlers, and even been kicked by players.

“We should know better than to exploit animals for cheap amusement—especially at an institution of higher learning,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Kennesaw State to teach students the important lesson that animals belong in their natural habitats, not in a basketball arena.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind