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After nearly a decade on the throne, Carolina’s live animal mascot, Rameses XXI, is passing down his royal garb to his successor and retiring from public life. Rising to the crown is 9-month-old Otis, a Horned Dorset ram from northern Virginia who has been hard at work preparing for his new role.
“He’s never going to lie down and roll over, but what you can do is get him used to people,” said James Hogan, whose family has been caring for the Rameses dynasty since the 1920s. “He’s really come a long way. He was on a farm where all he knew was sheep, and he didn’t have much human interaction at all.”
The pandemic has kept Otis from officially assuming his role as Rameses XXII at Kenan Stadium this season, but Hogan and his family are excited about the changing of the horned guard.
“It’s really gratifying to help carry on the tradition,” Hogan said. “We love it.”