AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas longhorn steer mascot Bevo XIV has been diagnosed with cancer and will retire.
The university said Tuesday that the steer, whose given name is Sunrise Studly, was preliminarily diagnosed with bovine leukemia virus last week. The diagnosis was confirmed by several veterinarians.
Bevo XIV began his tenure as the Texas mascot at the age of 2 in 2004. He was a part of back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, including the January 2006 win that resulted in the BCS national championship. He also made appearances at special events, including the second inauguration of former president George W. Bush.
The search for Bevo XV will begin immediately. It is anticipated that Bevo XV will be on the sideline next season.
Ricky Brennes, executive director of the Silver Spurs organization that takes care of the mascot, said Bevo XIV is "a special animal."
"He truly embraced his role and loved engaging with people at games and special events, and at his ranch -- where he will continue to live -- he was clearly the leader of the herd," Brennes said.
The university had said last week that Bevo XIV had a life-threatening condition. He missed the Longhorns' victory over Oklahoma on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.