Tiger Mascot Criticized By PETA Gets Protection

MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) - A tiger cub mascot criticized by animal rights activists has been placed in makeshift protective custody.

The Massillon Washington High School mascot "Obie" spent the last week behind a 12-foot security fence after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals criticized the use of the tiger as a mascot.

"Obie" normally bunks at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium or with a volunteer caretaker.

However, until alarms are installed at the stadium, the cub will remain at Stump Hill farm in nearby Perry Township as a precaution, said School Superintendent Al Hennon.

PETA's Amy Rhodes, the Norfolk, Va.-based group's animals in entertainment specialist, said Tuesday that she hopes "whatever precautions are taken in Massillon result in better care for the cub."

Police Chief Mark Weldon said there had been no specific threat against the cub.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)