Bevo XIV diagnosed with cancer, retired immediately by University of Texas

Live mascot Bevo XIV, the real longhorn who camps out on sidelines during University of Texas games, has been diagnosed with cancer and has been immediately retired.

Texas officials announced on Tuesday the mascot has Bovine Leukemia Virus and the decision was made to end the animal’s role as mascot for his own comfort and quality of life.

"BEVO XIV is a special animal," said Ricky Brennes, Executive Director of the Silver Spurs in a statement.   "He truly embraced his role and loved engaging with people at games and special events, and at his ranch – where he will continue to live - he was clearly the leader of the herd."

Bevo did not travel to Dallas for last weekend’s annual Red River Showdown game between Texas and the University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl. Officials said he was battling a life-threatening illness but didn’t elaborate until Tuesday what was happening with Bevo.

Bevo XIV had been serving as the Texas mascot since 2004.

University officials said the search for Bevo XV will begin immediately and a new mascot could be selected by the 2016 football season.