'Tis the season of college football. And between the 38 bowl games scheduled—including traditional gems like the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl—you’re bound to end up catching one over the holidays.
And while football might not be your cup of tea, you have the choice to change the channel. Not so for the animals turned into college mascots. Colleges routinely subject live animals—from tigers to bald eagles—to the ruckus of stadium sidelines.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals addressed its concerns for live animal mascots in a blog post: “In their natural environments, tigers and lions would quietly roam many miles of territory, hunt, and raise their young. Bears would climb trees, investigate caves, and fish in streams. Animals kept as mascots aren’t allowed to do any of these natural things.”
While some schools have switched to costumed humans, many schools are holding on to the tradition. Here are just a few of America’s universities that keep wild animals as mascots.