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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 18:09 GMT
Bobby is back in his barracks
Handler, Fusilier Andrew Newton and Bobby
Bobby was reunited with the troops after 15 months
Bobby, the antelope army mascot, has rejoined his regiment after a 15-month stay in the Tower of London.

The Indian black buck antelope is the mascot of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

He was sent to The Tower, the Fusiliers regimental headquarters, when 2nd Battalion went on a tour of Germany.

He was forced into a longer stay when foot-and-mouth restrictions prevented him from returning to the battalion's barracks in North Luffenham, Rutland, Leicestershire.

Life on the outside

Bobby was welcomed back to the barracks by his handlers, Fusiliers Andrew Newton, 22, from Oldham, and Michael Griffin, 29, from Erdington, Birmingham on Friday.

He will now be housed in a converted tennis court , although he is still confined to the barracks under current foot-and-mouth regulations.

Fusilier Andrew Newton (22) from Oldham (left), Bobby and Michael Griffin (29) from Erdington
Bobby was escorted from the Tower

Major Peter Clarke, of 2nd Battalion, said: "We turned one of the tennis courts into a home for Bobby, and of course there is plenty of grass for him to graze on.

"He certainly seems to be enjoying the wide open spaces and has settled down well to life on the outside."

The tradition of antelope mascots dates back 150 years, when the Royal Warwickshire regiment, later the Fusiliers, adopted an antelope in India.

Bobby took up his posting as mascot last year.

He is said to like football and Nice biscuits and hour-long walks.

Bobby's handlers are delighted that he managed to find sanctuary from the livestock cull in a place more known for sending people to their deaths.


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See also:

25 Oct 01 | England
Tower of London ghosts hunted
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