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Mascot marmot body-slammed to the ice by jilted fan

Marty the Marmot, left, appears with other local mascots at a Victoria Seals baseball game in Victoria in August 2010.

Geoff Howe/The Globe and Mail

Vancouver Island marmots are an endangered and protected species, but one B.C. junior hockey mascot has just discovered that the animal's immunity from violence does not extend to his kind.

Marty the Marmot, the team mascot for the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League, is recovering after his antics earned him a body slam on the ice during a Royals home game on Saturday night.

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.

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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 the 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.

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