CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University reports that one of its two live mascots-in-training has died.
WT said the calf named “Lightning” was euthanized after developing complications a following a routine husbandry procedure performed this week by the University veterinarian.
WT continues saying that Mater, the other buffalo calf being trained as the official, did not have complications following the procedure and is healing well.
“The Herdsmen team is saddened by the loss of Lightning,” said Herdsman adviser Logan Burleson. “The loss of an animal that you devote so much care and time toward is never easy.”
The Herdsmen will continue to train Mater to serve as Thunder XIV, the latest in a line of live WT mascots. The University is exploring options to find a companion animal for Mater during the training process.
WT’s first live mascots were purchased in 1922 from Col. Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight; the buffalo “Charlie” was mounted for posterity and donated to Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. The live mascot program was revived in the 1970s, when the Herdsmen were formed.
West Texas A&M University said bolstering regional pride and campus spirit is in line with the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.