Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arkansas announces birth of new mascot
Tusk V, the newest Arkansas live mascot, was born April 19.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will retire its live mascot, Tusk IV, following the next school year.
The university announced the birth and selection of Tusk V on Wednesday. A fifth-generation Russian boar and son of the current mascot, Tusk V was born April 19 in a litter of five at the Dardanelle farm of Keith and Julie Stokes, who are the primary caretakers of Arkansas' mascots.
Tusk V will begin serving as the school's mascot for the 2019-20 academic year. Tusk IV has been the mascot since the 2011-12 year.
Arkansas restarted its live mascot program in 1997 with Tusk I and a lineage fund was established in 2008.
In the 1960s and '70s a number of live mascots were used by the university. In 1977, a mascot named Big Red III escaped an exhibit near Eureka Springs and was shot by a farmer. The following year another live mascot, Ragnar, died in the small South Arkansas community of Leola after a spree in which it killed a coyote, a domestic pig and seven rattlesnakes, according to university records.
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