Tragedy struck today in Philadelphia after the Phillies’ mascot, the beloved “Phillie Phanatic,” was shot and killed after a four-year old child climbed over several barriers before falling into its 2,500 square foot enclosure at Citizens Bank Park.
The 38-year old Phanatic had been on the endangered species list, as it was the only known member of its species still remaining. Once a thriving pack animal plentiful along the Delaware River basin, the gentle, herbivorous creature (Philadelphius Phanaticus) had been decimated by poachers, who prized the Phanatic for its unique green-hued fur.
The Major League Baseball club, the Philadelphia Phillies, adopted the young Phanatic cub in 1978 after both of its parents had been fatally shot by illegal hunters. It had become a local fan favorite, socialized to hug small children and even dance in exchange for treats.
But when Cody H., of Cherry Hill, NJ, fell into the Phanatic’s area during the 7th inning of a recent home game, crowds grew terrified as the uncharacteristically agitated Phanatic dragged the child around his domicile.
“We had never seen him act like this,” said a distraught Mina Randall, the Phanatic’s handler and caretaker since 2001. “It didn’t have to happen this way.”
Angry protesters surrounded the ballpark today, demanding justice for the noble beast they claim was unfairly killed.