Mascot fight between school, Ohio goes down to the wire

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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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