Buffalo or bison? Colorado researcher talks Ralphie ahead of Rocky Mountain Showdown
BOULDER, Colo. (KKTV) - As Colorado State University and the University of Colorado gear up for the return of the Rocky Mountain Showdown after a three-year hiatus, researchers with CU Boulder wanted to take the opportunity to clear up the identity of one of the schools’ mascots.
Researchers said while CSU’s mascot Cam the Ram has always had a widely recognized identity as a Rambouillet ram, Ralphie has always been a bit trickier.
“The term bison is more scientifically accurate to refer to the animal that we often refer to as buffalo, so Ralphie is technically a North American bison,” said Brooke Neely with CU Boulder’s Center of the American West in a video released by the university Tuesday.
Neely said its alright to refer to Ralphie as either, but buffalo is a term more correctly used to refer to animals native to parts of Africa and Asia. Neely, who also teaches a course on the history of bison in the West, also said the bison/buffalo has not only become a symbol of identity associated with CU Boulder, but also associated with the nation itself.
“Bison and buffalo are kind of enduring, in terms of the connections we feel with them.”
The Rocky Mountain Showdown is set for Saturday at Folsom Field.
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