U.S. Military Academy cadets traveled this past weekend to a farm near Annapolis, Maryland, the home of Navy mascot Bill. Since there were many goats with the same name, the cadets grabbed Navy mascot Bill No. 34, a one-horned, 14-year-old retiree, instead of Bill No. 37, the New York Times reported.
On Monday, Bill No. 34 was returned safely and believed to be in good health by a veterinarian.
“The U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy are disappointed by the trust that was broken recently between our brothers and sisters in arms. These actions do not reflect either academy’s core values of dignity and respect,” superintendents Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams and Vice Adm. Sean Buck said in a statement on Monday night.
Taking each other’s mascots was once a long-time tradition and always viewed as a prank, but it has been reportedly off-limits since the early 1990s. Back in 2018, Army officials apologized to the Air Force Academy after a falcon was injured during a prank.
According to the Times, Army has taken a Bill mascot at least 10 times over the past 70 years.
The Army-Navy game is set for Dec. 11.