Baylor Scraps Bear Policy
WOAI News Radio- San Antonio
By: Jim Forsyth
Watch out Bevo and Reveille, Baylor University has ended it's decades-long tradition to taking a live bear to football games as a mascot.
"The veterinarians who care for our bears agree that it is not healthy for the animals to be an such a loud and volatile environment," Baylor Vice President for Student Life Dr. Eileen Hulme said.
Baylor was the target of worldwide protests by an Illinois based animal rights group which encouraged it to end the practice of keeping a live bear as a university mascot. University officials say while the protests were not directly responsible for the decision not to take the live bears to football games, it did prompt the university to rethink the way the bears are handled.
Bears will continue to be kept at the Hudson Bear Plaza in the center of campus, which is a designated and certified zoo facility. Plans are to enlarge the plaza and to add more grass, trees, and waver facilities.
Two female bears, Joy and Lady, currently live in the Hudson Bear Plaza, which was built in 1976.
"With an improved habitat, Baylor hopes to keep its bears their their natural lifetimes," Hulme said. "It has been increasingly difficult to find an acceptable way to retire our bears, and the University has an obligation to make sure the bears are well cared for while they are under our stewardship."