This photo of a Longhorn whose horns were, reportedly, weighted to grow downward went viral when we shared it on Tuesday.
Our site briefly crashed due to heavy traffic, and almost 300 people have commented on the photo.
A UT fan on HornFans.com, where the photo first surfaced, claimed that the frowning bovine was scheduled to appear at the halftime show of the final Texas-A&M Thanksgiving Day game.
A&M says that’s a load of bull.
“The only animals on Kyle Field will be Reveille and Bevo,” says Mike Caruso, associate athletics director at A&M.
Caruso says the student workers in his office told him about the photo: “We had a good laugh about it. But the idea of it having any official affiliation with A&M…that’s just people on the Internet trying to stir something up.”
As for the question of animal cruelty, we asked Bevo’s owner, John T. Baker, to weigh in.
Baker says this is the first time he’s heard of a Longhorn with weighted horns, but the practice is not uncommon for other types of cattle.
“It doesn’t hurt the animal, and it can be done for aesthetics or for a functional purpose,” Baker says. “Bulls will often scuffle for dominance, and turning the horns down prevents them from injuring each other.”
It’s also possible, though unlikely, Baker says, that this animal’s horns simply grew downward naturally.
So don’t rush to the phone to call PETA—unless we find out they did something really cruel to this animal, like dye its hide maroon.