ANIMAL ATTRACTION: The Live Mascots of the SEC

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Photograph By Jamie Chung

University of Tennessee
Ninth Generation

Bluetick coonhounds are bred to hunt. Raccoons, specifically. And when they find one? They alert their owners by howling to the treetops. Smokey IX doesn't hunt raccoons these days. But that doesn't keep him from howling after every Tennessee touchdown - just like the eight Smokeys before him. A combination of the applause and a signal from one of his handlers triggers the 8-year-old hound's innate urge to howl. No raccoons necessary. Pictured here with Smokey, from left, are Joy Postell-Gee, Evan Betterton, and Robert Gee.