FAYTTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas, home to one of the nation’s longest tenured and most recognizable live mascot programs, will celebrate the debut of Tusk V, the official live mascot of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Born Saturday, April 19, 2018, at the Stokes Family Farm in Dardanelle, Arkansas, Tusk V is the son of recently retired, Tusk IV, a Russian boar which closely resembles the type of “wild band of razorback hogs,” first described by then Arkansas head football coach Hugo Bezdek in 1909. The following year, in 1910, University of Arkansas students voted to officially adopt the new nickname changing the mascot from the Cardinals to the Razorbacks.
Tusk V officially takes over official mascot duties after his father, Tusk IV, who retired at the end of the 2019 Razorback Baseball season.
Tusk V lives on the Stokes Family Farm near Dardanelle, Arkansas. The work of caring for V is shared between Keith and his wife Julie, their daughter Abbey, their son Chip and his wife Lori, five-year-old son (Keith and Julie’s grandson), Colt and two-year-old daughter(Keith and Julie’s grandson), Caroline.
Tusk V will make a two-hour trek up to Northwest Arkansas for every Razorback football game as well as select other Razorback athletics events throughout the year. Beloved by Razorback and opposing team fans of all ages, Tusk is always the center of attention when he makes an appearance at games or other special events. Through the years, he has traveled the state and throughout the region to appear at various locations including at bowl games, Razorback Clubs and even the Arkansas State Capitol.
Arkansas’ first live mascot, Tusk I was selected in 1997 and served as the Razorback mascot for eight years.
After spending four football seasons at the Little Rock Zoo, Tusk I was moved to the Tyson Foods Farm in Springdale in 2001. In 2002, Tusk I became the father to Tusk II. Tusk I passed away in 2004 and his son, Tusk II, was moved from the Tyson Farm to the Stokes Family Farm and served as the live mascot from 2005 until 2010.
Tusk III was the brother of Tusk II and both were second-generation Russian boars. Tusk III served for only one football season in 2010. Tusk IV is the son of Tusk II and took over as the official live mascot during the 2011 football season. He recently completed his seventh season.
In 2008, Razorback Athletics created the Tusk Fund to help provide financial assistance for the maintenance and upkeep of the live mascot program. Donations to the fund provide Tusk with improvements to his facilities and most of all, create a legacy program for guaranteeing the longevity of the Razorback live mascot program. Fans interested in supporting the Tusk Fund, can do so by clicking here.
The tradition of a live mascot predates the Tusk lineage, dating back to the 1960s with a series of hogs that have proudly represented Arkansas.
Razorback fans of all ages will have the opportunity to interact with Tusk V in HogTown beginning four hours prior to kickoff of each home game. Additionally, Tusk V will lead Coach Chad Morris and members of the Razorback Football team through the official Hog Walk which will take place two hours and forty minutes prior to kick through HogTown.