Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Javelina - A One of a Kind Mascot!


The Texas A&M-Kingsville athletic mascot is the javelina, and the school is the only college or university in the nation with this mascot.

Any time the Javelina athletic teams venture outside Texas, one of the first questions asked has been, “What is a javelina?”

Texas A&M-Kingsville has had the javelina as a mascot since opening its doors in 1925. An article in an early edition of the South Texan campus newspaper explained the picking of the name and a description of the animal.

“Last summer (1925), the pioneer students of this college voted to accept the javelina as our college mascot...after hearing some almost unbelievable but highly interesting tales of the fighting spirit of Mr. Javelina, they elected him mascot by a large majority.

“Wherever the javelina is known, his reputation as an intrepid and relentless fighter also is known. The word javelina (pronounced hah-vuh-lee-nah, with the accent on the third syllable) is the Spanish name for the peccary, a species of wild hog indigenous of the New World and ranging from Texas to Pantagonia.

“They are small animals, seldom attaining 40 inches in length and more than 20 inches in height. Biologically, they are related to swine, though their teeth are different and their stomachs are in some respects characteristic of a ruminant.

“They also vary from swine in that the young are born in pairs. They usually range in pairs, although it is not uncommon to find them in flocks of eight to ten.

“Their greatest enemy is the Mexican jaguar, but when attacked they stand their ground with a ferocious determination that often sends the jaguar scurrying to the safety of a high limb.

“There is nothing unusual in their style of fighting. Its main characteristic is vicious intrepidity. When attacked, they boldly face their enemy and begin crowding in on him with a short, driving rush and with their jaws snapping with the suddenness of steel traps, and the animal is in a sorrowful plight that fails to keep his carcass out of range of their knife-like teeth.

“Another characteristic of the javelina is that one flock, if aware that another flock is being attacked, will rush to its assistance, and when once attacked, flight is unthought of.

“They will stay in the fight until the last pig is dead or until the enemy is either killed or driven off.

“The javelina is not easily domesticated and tamed, and they do not make very trustworthy pets. They never forget how to bite if the least bit provoked.”

The species, from Texas to Central America, is known as the collared peccary because of its white stripe running down each shoulder from the withers to around the throat.

Javelina mascots have been frequent at Texas A&M-Kingsville and the present mascot has appeared at all home games since 1969. Today, the animals are caged. At one time the mascots were allowed to run loose on campus.

In September, 1929, Dr. R.B. Cousins, the first president of the school, was attacked by one of the two mascots kept on campus. It was found to be rabid, and Cousins underwent the Pasteur treatment for rabies.

No comments:

Post a Comment