HAYS, Kan. -

An image showing a merger between two western Kansas colleges has caused a controversy.

The graphic appeared in a Fort Hays State student article online about the university's merger with Dodge City Community College. It shows a tiger, the mascot of Fort Hays State, looking like it's devouring a conquistador, the mascot of Dodge City Community College.

Some Dodge City residents were upset by the image, saying it looked like the merger was a hostile takeover.

Todd Elsen, Tiger Media Network executive director, said the incident is a teaching moment for his students.

"I see this as a good learning opportunity for them to realize the power of the image and what it can do," Elsen said.

Elsen said he's looking forward to the merger and students at both schools will benefit.