Apparently it is common for students at Kansas State to sneak live chickens into the auditorium when their team plays rival Kansas, whose mascot is the Jayhawk. The student(s) then throw the chicken out onto the floor as a way of mocking the Jayhaw mascot.
Yeah, it didn’t make any sense to me either.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got wind of the practice, however, and sent a letter to Kansas State objecting to this mistreatment of animals.
The athletic department followed up with a statement asking fans to discontinue the tradition, saying,
These actions severely tarnish the image of our University, its athletics teams and the majority of our outstanding fans and supporters and while viewed by many as harmless pranks, these acts are likely illegal.
PETA’s Debbie Leahy told the Associated Press, “Any student who throws live birds on a basketball court should be thrown out of school.”
A bigger question might be how the chicken throwers managed to get in to Kansas State in the first place.
N.C. vs. Duke: blood feud. Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel (Indiana), March 6, 2007.
Kansas State Athletic Department Condemns Chicken Toss. Associated Press, February 28, 2007.
Several animal rights groups including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Born Free Foundation, and the Elephant Sanctuary filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior to block the importation of 11 African elephants.
Reuters reports that the elephants would be captured in Swaziland and shipped to the San Diego, California, and Tampa, Florida, zoos which both have elephant breeding programs.
In a March press release on the subject, PETA asserted that zoos played no valuable role in conservation, with PETA’s Debbie Leahy saying,
The San Diego Zoo is putting the ‘con’ into conservation. Taking elephants who are thriving with their herds in nature and placing them on display halfway around the world hurts wild populations.
PETA said it has offered to relocate the elephants to another part of Africa if the elephants are overcrowding their range in Swaziland.
PETA “Elephant” Leads Protest at Zoo?s Main Entrance. Press Release, PETA, March 27, 2003.
Animal rights groups sue US over elephant imports. Reuters, April 11, 2003.
Correction: this article orginally repeated Reuters’ error in identifying the animals in question as Indian elephants. They are, in fact, African elephants.