CAM the Ram prepares to dazzle the crowd at a CSU football game (Photo | John Eisele, CSU Photography)
The Colorado State University community needs no introduction to CAM the Ram. Opposing football teams know and fear him for his intimidating presence in Canvas Stadium. Ram fans know and love him for his calm demeanor and impossibly photogenic appearance.
Celebrity aside, who is the Ram behind the horns? To get to the bottom of it, SOURCE obtained inside information from the people who spend every day making sure his every need is met: CAM’s Ram handlers.
Below are 23 facts about the animal ambassador who makes us all proud to call ourselves CSU Rams:
- His birthday is on Feb. 6, which means he’s an Aquarius. One random astrology website says Aquariuses love Saturdays – which might explain CAM’s enthusiasm about CSU football games.
- CAM’s all-time favorite snack is lettuce (“I think he loves it more than he loves us sometimes,” Ram Handler Kaitlyn Morrison joked). He’s also partial to alfalfa and high-quality grass hay, all of the finest quality.
- While bighorn sheep might be synonymous with Colorado, CAM is actually a Rambouillet, which is known for having the finest wool of all the sheep breeds.
- CAM’s horns are made of keratin, the same substance as our fingernails and toenails.
- CAM is actually super cuddly. Ram handlers say he’s partial to chin and cheek scratches.
- When it comes time to run across the field at Canvas Stadium, CAM is always ready to go – although his top speed might vary from game to game, depending on how he’s feeling at the time.
- Speaking of letting CAM do CAM, his training involves only positive reinforcement. That means when he successfully does a behavior he’s asked to, he gets a snack, but if he’s not feeling it, no harm, no foul.
- CAM has been CSU’s animal ambassador since 1945.
- The origin of his name comes from a contest. A CSU alumnus came up with “CAM” – an acronym for the University’s one-time name as Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College.
- Today, 18 student Ram handlers make sure that CAM gets the king treatment he deserves.
- Those Ram handlers aren’t just animal science majors: They come from nearly every college.
- CAM’s under 24-hour surveillance at a top-secret location with constant access to on-call veterinarians. The Ram handlers visit him multiple times a day for exercise sessions and cuddles, and he also participates in training that includes hand targets.
- Recently, CAM learned how to throw his food ball around with his horns to ask for more.
- On non-CSU football days, CAM starts his day at 7:30 a.m. The initial part of his schedule calls for breakfast and cuddles.
- CAM knows who his trainers are. When he hears their voices, he’s been known to walk outside to say hi.
- He adores people in general, and loves being around crowds (“He’s a big attention seeker,” Morrison said).
- CAM has been known to bop his head along to music when he walks.
- Want to become a Ram handler so you can see this yourself? Applications open in March: alumni.colostate.edu/cam-the-ram
- CAM travels in style: He’s towed around in his own custom trailer with his face on it (courtesy Ford, Maxey and Big O Tires).
- If you pet CAM, your skin might feel oily afterward. That’s because sheep naturally produce a substance called lanolin, which is also used for skin treatment.
- CAM the Ram is part of CSU’s own Rambouillet breeding program.
- CAM has his own Instagram, and it’s definitely worth your time (@CSUCamTheRam). He never disappoints on Halloween.
- If you read all these facts and want to help support CSU’s signature ram, you can give to the CAM Forever fund, which underwrites his daily food and care, Ram handler support and travel costs: alumni.colostate.edu/cam-the-ram
Perhaps the only fitting way to end this tribute to CAM the Ram is to include this photo of him dressed up as a king for Halloween (John Eisele | CSU Photography)