Baylor Mascot Donated to Austin Zoo

May 23, 1996

by Colin M. Witt

WACO, Texas - Judge R.E.B. "Bobby" Baylor, Baylor University's 2-year-old live mascot, will take up residence at a new home in Austin Saturday, May 25.

Bobby, a 350-pound North American black bear, has been donated to the Austin Zoo, which did not have a bear before the donation.

"One of the reasons we chose the Austin Zoo is because it is a small zoo and we felt like they would give Bobby the kind of care we do," said senior Brandon Adley, who had been Bobby's trainer for the duration of the bear's two years at Baylor.

Along with the donation, Baylor gave money and labor toward building a facility to house Bobby and ensure his continued good health. Members of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, a student service organization which maintains the live mascots, assisted the zoo with the construction of the facility.

Bobby's new home comprises more than 7,000 square feet and contains two wading pools and a small waterfall and stream connecting the pools. The facility contains housing for two bears, providing an opportunity for the zoo to further develop the display.

The Travis County Commissioners Court in Austin has proclaimed Saturday as "Bobby, the Baylor Bear Day" in celebration of the donation. The Austin Baylor Network, an organization of Baylor alumni, students and parents in the Austin area, has planned a welcoming party for 3 p.m. Saturday at the zoo.

At the welcoming event, visitors will meet Bobby and 3-month-old Judge Virginia "Ginny" Crump, Baylor's newest mascot, as well as tour the new facility. The event is open to the public.

Baylor got its first mascot, Joe College, in 1932. Since then, the university has had more than 75 bear mascots. The mascot is always called Judge in honor of the school's namesake, Judge Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor. Bears on campus are housed in the Steve Hudson Memorial Bear Plaza, a Class C zoo, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Texas.

For more information, call Adley at (817) 755-3322.

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