CHAPEL HILL — February 27, 1996, 3 p.m. EST
After investigating the killing of Rameses, the woolly mascot of the UNC football team, for two days, authorities say the motive might have been common livestock theft.
The ram's carcass was found by its owners Sunday morning, gutted and with its throat cut. Its left front quarter was missing.
The investigation has turned up no strong leads, but law officers say nothing points to a prank, athletic rivalry or political statement. Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's office at 919-732-6300.
Rameses was seen most often at Tar Heel football games, when he was brought out on the field on a leash, trotting out to enormous cheering in advance of the football team.
At times, his horns would be painted Carolina Blue. As a prank, fans of rival schools sometimes painted his horns in their own colors. Never, however, had the ram been hurt.
For other sports events, UNC uses a human being dressed in a ram costume. The ram is the symbol of UNC-Chapel Hill and has been incorporated into the informal logo of the university