COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio high school football team that has had a live tiger cub at games for decades might kick off the season Thursday without its traditional mascot as boosters try to find a way to meet state rules for keeping dangerous animals.
A limited exemption for the tradition at Massillon’s Washington High School was included in the law enacted after a suicidal man released dozens of dangerous animals from his Zanesville-area farm in 2011. Ohio’s Department of Agriculture has said it isn’t trying to end the tradition but needs to ensure the requirements are met.
The boosters were asked to prove that the tigers they lease would live at an accredited facility and the school would ensure they’d be cared for throughout their lives. The state hasn’t received that documentation.