As the Brazilian Government agrees to fund the conservation of their three-banded armadillo, Fuleco, environmentalists have warned that previous mascots may have already died out. Evidence has emerged that World Cup Willie was mistakenly caught up in last year’s badger cull, the French rooster (Footix) fell victim to bird flu and Zakumi the leopard was shot in the face by the Duke of Edinburgh in South Africa, 2011.
Despite an amorous approach from Robin Thicke, biologists have identified a lack of breeding partners as the main factor in mascots nearing extinction. The futuristic ‘Spheriks’ that once cluttered the cyber cafes of Japan and South Korea have been forced to cross-breed with a collection of poorly drawn anime characters. While Spain’s Naranjito fruit was tragically consumed by the Tory MP Stephen Milligan during an auto-asphyxiation accident in 1994.
By taking a slice of the merchandising profits, it is hoped that it is not too late to find a home for Striker, the World Cup puppy. However it has become clear that Ciao, the Italian stick man, has succumbed to bulimia; while Goleo the German lion recently choked to death on Danish giraffe. Ironically the death toll for ‘heat-stroked migrant worker’, the unofficial mascot for Quatar 2022, is already in the hundreds.