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Tusk (mascot)

Tusk
Tusk IV, September 2012
University University of Arkansas
Conference SEC
Description Russian boar
First seen 2002
Related mascot(s) Big Red, Sue E., Pork Chop, Boss Hog

Tusk is the name of the official live mascot for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. It is one of three offspring of Tusk I (all male; female swine do not have tusks) which were born on either August 2, 2002 or August 12, 2002, to two separate female sows. All three are Russian boars, resemble wild razorback hogs, and weigh in at approximately 475 pounds (215 kg) each.

All three Russian boars live on a rural farm, just outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas, and travel to every home football game at Fayetteville or Little Rock, as well as other select events (such as pep rallies). Tusk III is put into a spacious cardinal red holding pen which travels through the crowds, with the cheerleaders on the upper level, making him a crowd favorite. During the actual game, Tusk is moved into Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium where he can be seen by the entire crowd.

Tusk II died on January 5, 2010 and his brother, Tusk III, took over as the Razorback mascot. Tusk III, along with Reveille, the Texas A&M Aggies border collie mascot, Smokey, the bluetick coonhound of the Tennessee Volunteers, and Sir Big Spur, the BBRed American Game Bantam cockerel of the South Carolina Gamecocks are the only lineage live mascots in the SEC. There are only a few lineage mascots in the entire country.

Tusk III

Tusk III occupies a 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) indoor facility and a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) fenced outdoor area. He uses the indoor facility to escape the heat and sun, and the outdoor facility provides him the opportunity to slop in several mud holes. One of the first things that Tusk III does each day is to go straight to his mud hole for a mud bath. Since Razorbacks are extremely muscular and have very little body fat, the mud keeps him cooler throughout the day and protects him from the sun and insects.

Russian boars are extremely strong and surprisingly quick and fast for their size. Tusk II repeatedly jumped over a four-foot gate, at a weight of almost 500 pounds (230 kg).

Tusk II signed autographs. An actual hoof print of Tusk II was taken and applied to an ink stamp that can be used on paper or T-shirts. Kids and Razorback fans could request the stamp where ever Tusk II made an appearance.

Previous University of Arkansas live mascots

Original Tusk feeding.

In addition to Tusk I (who died in December 2004 and is the father of the current Tusks mascots), the live mascot tradition dates back to the 1960s and a number of hogs have represented the university through the years. In addition to their presence on the sidelines of sporting events, some have also gained a reputation for some of their activities off the field. The animal mascot was once called "Big Red", but that name is now used exclusively for the costumed human mascot Big Red.

There are several examples of previous animal mascot hijinks, to include an instance where Big Red III escaped from an animal exhibit near Eureka Springs in the summer of 1977 and ravaged the countryside before an irate farmer gunned him down. Ragnar was a wild hog captured in south Arkansas by Leola farmer Bill Robinson and Ragnar was also a reigning mascot that escaped to go on a killing spree before eventually dying of unknown causes in 1978. On his spree, he killed a coyote, a 450-pound (200 kg) domestic pig, and seven rattlesnakes.

External links

  • Article on Tusk and how he is cared for before a game
  • Tusk Profile at ArkansasRazorbacks.com
  • Tusk Photo Gallery at ArkansasRazorbacks.com
  • University of Arkansas traditions (Tusk and others)
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