Hannibal is a Happy Mascot?

Happy Monday! It’s everyone’s favourite day of the week, and to brighten it even more, let’s talk about Hannibal!  Doesn’t that word just come with the phrase ‘The Cannibal’, of the 1988 movie ‘Silence of the Lambs?’  Well, it turns out it has a different origination entirely.  In 200 BC, the Punic Empire in Carthage (Tunisia) had a military leader named Hannibal Barca, who was born into a militia family, and took power after his father led the empire to a loss in the First Punic War.  Hannibal took a much more violent and dominant approach to war, and was successful through many battles, but eventually was desired for execution by the Romans.  He instead took poison to show that at no point did the Romans have power over him.

So either way, the idea of ‘Hannibal’ is pretty dark and twisted.  Which brings us to the question- why has the Army given two of their live mascots such a name?
The U.S. Military Academy in New York has the official mascot of the mule, which is actually quite adorable for the toughness they attempt to portray.  Granted, he does have the build and appearance of starting to box at any moment.
The Army has always had at least one live mule to be the official mascot.  In 1948 and 1964, the names Bud and Jack were respectively given.  However, both times, these names were deemed ‘not tough enough’ so the names were changed to Hannibal and Hannibal II.  Mules are large and enraged, perhaps, but not necessarily cold blooded killers.
But seriously, for the toughness that the militia generally tries to portray, the anger the mascot is given, and the name of Hannibal, you’d think the students would be a little tougher and a little less fun.  But here we have the truth: everyone smiles when a mascot is present.

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