VICTORIA - Vancouver Island marmots are an endangered and protected species but the mascot for the Western Hockey League Victoria Royals has just discovered that the oversized squirrel's immunity from violence does not extend to team mascots.
Marty the Marmot, the Royals' team mascot, is recovering after his antics earned him a body slam on the ice during a Royals home game on Saturday night.
UPDATE: The man who tackled Marty has apologized to the mascot and the hockey club, The Vancouver Sun Reports, and as a result, Victoria police are dropping the assault investigation.
Marty was leading the second period intermission entertainment as selected fans were invited onto the ice for a game of musical chairs, but the competition turned nasty when Marty playfully interfered with one of the contestants.
That man was eliminated after failing to grab a chair and he responded by turning on the mascot, lifting the faux rodent up and hurling him onto ice where Marty lay unmoving for several seconds before a staff member came to his aid and a chorus of boos chased the man from the ice.
The Royals went on to win 3-1 over the Red Deer Rebels but the investigation into the attack on Marty is continuing.
Victoria police say they are waiting to speak to the man who wears the Marty costume, and depending on his statement, they could decide to lay charges against the mascot's unnamed assailant. (CFAX)