The longhorn steer mascot of the University of Texas died in his sleep Friday after recently being diagnosed with cancer. Bevo XIV was 13.
The steer died at the ranch where he lived.
He had been retired on Tuesday after his diagnosis and had not made the trip to the Cotton Bowl the previous weekend for the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game, which Texas won 24-17.
"He was so big and strong, but he had such a sweet personality and a gentle soul," said Ricky Brennes, executive director of the Silver Spurs, the mascot's handlers and caretakers. The Silver Spurs had announced Oct. 7 that the steer had been stricken with a life-threatening condition.
Bevo XIV, whose given name was Sunrise Studly, had served as the school mascot since the age of 2, in 2004. He was on the football sideline for two Rose Bowl victories, including the January 2006 national championship game.
He also attended the second inauguration of President George W. Bush in January 2005. Owners John and Betty Baker also owned his predecessor, Bevo XIII.
Bevo XIV "loved the attention" given to the mascot, Brennes said.
"Like a dog, he would come when called by name, show up to the house looking for treats and even roll over on his side so Mrs. Baker could rub his belly," Brennes said.
The school said a search for Bevo XV will begin immediately and should be in place for the 2016 football season, which would be the 100th anniversary of the mascot being on the football sideline.
BEVO XIV FACTS
- 2005 National Championship
- 107 victories
- Five consecutive Bowl wins at start of tenure