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New Mexico considering live wolf as mascot

4/23/2004 - New Mexico Lobos

ALBUQUERQUE -- The University of New Mexico's athletic
department is considering using a live silver wolf as a mascot to
rev up fans during next season's home football games.

Joe Weiss, an assistant athletic director, said the department
will have to consider a number of issues, including safety, before
a decision is made.

"There are a lot of things we would need to look at, primarily
safety -- the animal's safety and the fans' safety," Weiss said.

The 2-year-old silver wolf, which belongs to a UNM professor,
made its debut during the team's Cherry-Silver spring football
scrimmage on April 10.

"It's something we've talked about as a staff that would be
neat for fan entertainment," Weiss said. "We brought it out for
the spring game just to see what would happen. It was on the
(northeast) concourse, just kind of meeting and greeting people, if
a wolf can actually meet and greet. And the trial run went very
well."

The Lobos experimented with a live mascot in the past,
Weiss said.

During an Oct. 28, 1989 home loss to Wyoming, All-American wide
receiver Terance Mathis said he was nipped by the wolf after
throwing a block and rolling out of bounds. Mathis wasn't hurt, but
he was quoted as saying at the time, "He sure scared me. I've got
tooth marks in my pants."

Weiss said coach Rocky Long and athletic director Rudy Davalos
would ultimately determine this wolf's fate as a mascot.