- Associated Press - Monday, April 12, 2021

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A life-sized statue of an elephant was moved Monday to a street corner outside the University of Alabama’s football stadium after 20 years at a country club.

The 7-ton (6.35-metric tonne) bronze now stands on a tall pedestal outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, news outlets reported.

Although the university’s sports nickname is the Crimson TIde, its mascot is an elephant. The tradition dates back to a 1930 Atlanta Journal article in which Everett Strupper wrote, “the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, ‘Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,’ and out stamped this Alabama varsity.”

The statue dubbed Tuska, by English artist Terry Matthews, stands looking skyward with trunk raised high. It is 19 feet, 1 inch (5.8 meters) from the base to the tip of its trunk.

A gift from former athletic director Bill Battle and his wife, Mary, helped the school move Tuska, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Al.com reported that the move, the pedestal and landscaped Tuska Plaza will cost about $415,000.

The Westervelt Company, based in Tuscaloosa, donated the statue to the school in 2000. Tuska was unveiled that year at the NorthRiver Yacht Club, where it stood until the move, news agencies report.

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