NEWS

Pachi the Porcupine, Pan Am Games Mascot, Is Weird, Not Representative Of Toronto (TWEETS)

07/17/2013 07:14 EDT | Updated 07/17/2013 09:54 EDT

It's sort of cute, but also sort of frightening. Also, why a porcupine for Toronto?

That's what many Twitter users said in response to the new mascot for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games, Pachi the Porcupine, unveiled Wednesday.

Pachi, resembling Sonic the Hedgehog but with rainbow spikes, is the brainchild of Grade 8 students at Buttonville Public School in Markham, Ontario, whose mascot design was chosen over 4,000 other entries.

One of those students, 14-year-old Paige Kunihiro, said the idea for Pachi came to her while reading a manga book. She said the word, which means 'clapping with joy' in Japanese, reminded her of the applause and celebration the athletes will receive, but for some Twitter users, the cartoon porcupine brought to mind other things, namely, nightmares.

Others questioned why a porcupine was picked to represent Toronto. User Pete Evans tweeted, "A porcupine? OK, but I feel like Toronto's Pan Am games mascot should be a raccoon stranded by a short-turned streetcar".

What do you think of the mascot? Did you have any better ideas? Tell us in the comments below.

Twitter Reacts: Pan Am Games Mascot