It’s now the season to call the hogs! With the start of the college football season, there will be crowds of passionate Razorback fans at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium performing the trademark whoop for their team.
But this year, they will be cheering for a new member of the Razorback team. And this member isn’t one of the human players.
The University of Arkansas has introduced a new live mascot. Tusk V has claimed the role of live mascot, taking over from his father Tusk IV, who retired after the 2019 2019 NCAA Baseball Super Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium.
“Earlier this fall, Tusk V arrived on campus to carry on the longstanding legacy of the live mascot program at the University of Arkansas,” Hunter Yurachek, vice chancellor and director of athletics, said in a statement. “Thanks to the tremendous loving care and extraordinary commitment of the Keith and Julie Stokes family, this beloved University of Arkansas tradition continues much to the delight of Razorbacks everywhere. The live mascot program is an integral part of our Razorback heritage. After all, we are ONE state rallied around ONE Razorback!”
Tusk V is a Russian boar who is part of the same lineage that has served as the live mascot since 1997. Tusk I became the live mascot in 1997, serving for eight years. His son, Tusk II, served as the mascot from 2005-2010, while Tusk II’s brother, Tusk III, only served one football season.
Starting in the 2011 football season, Tusk IV took over the job as live mascot. He served until spring 2019.
For those unfamiliar, the University of Arkansas adopted the razorback as its mascot in 1910 after head football coach Hugo Bezdek described his players as a “wild band of razorback hogs.” The original mascot was the Cardinals.
Image courtesy of Arkansas Razorbacks Athletics Department