Swap Eagle Mascots for Costumed Humans, PETA Urges Benfica Football Club

Swap Eagle Mascots for Costumed Humans, PETA Urges Benfica Football Club

London – Because reclusive eagles deserve better than a stressful, booming stadium environment, PETA has sent a letter calling on Portugal’s Benfica football club to retire Vitória, Gloriosa, and its other eagle mascots to a sanctuary and offering to pay for an eagle costume for the human mascot who should take their place.

“Eagles simply don’t belong at sporting events,” writes PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “In nature, these magnificent birds enjoy vast territories, spend most of their time high in the tree line, soar freely, and hunt over wide spaces. Those who are used as mere displays are denied the opportunity to engage in their natural behaviour, leading to extreme frustration and stress.”

Birds used as mascots have frequently been injured or killed at stadia, and their presence there is unsafe for the fans, too. An owl died after being hit by a ball, eagles have crashed into walls and glass windows and been punched by a rival team’s supporter, and a falcon landed on a fan’s head and sank his talons into the man’s scalp.

“If you agree to retire the birds to a sanctuary, PETA will cover the costs and replace them with a fabulous eagle mascot costume that’s sure to be a hit with Benfica fans,” Bekhechi adds. “Please join other clubs showing compassion by pledging not to use live animals as mascots.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]