CINCINNATI — Lucy the bearcat, who spent 11 years as the University of Cincinnati’s live mascot, died Wednesday after a year-long struggle with cancer.
Lucy’s caretakers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden made the “hard but humane decision” to euthanize her in light of her failing health, zoo spokesperson Michelle Curley wrote in an email to members.
The celebrity bearcat became UC’s live mascot in 2008 and attended more than 200 sporting events as an ambassador for her species. The zoo retired her from this role in 2019, shortly after the birth of her successor, Lucille.
“After retiring from campus life, Lucy enjoyed spending time in her tree limb-filled habitat eating her favorite foods and spending time with her caregivers,” Curley wrote. “She was always excited to see one person in particular. She had a special connection with Eddie Annal, who accompanied her to UC’s campus for more than a decade and continued to care for her after retirement.
“Please keep Eddie and the rest of the care team in your thoughts on this difficult day.”