They may not be blue-check verified on Twitter, but Judge Joy and Judge Lady — Baylor’s American black bears who reside on campus in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat — made history as the first live college mascots to send a tweet on the popular social media platform.
Joy and Lady took to Twitter to stoke Baylor’s rivalry with the Texas Longhorns, tweeting their thoughts throughout the exciting Halloween football weekend and helping cheer the Bears to a 31-24 victory. Tweets included behind-the-scenes photos and videos, unbridled enthusiasm about all things Baylor Football, Joy and Lady’s hot takes on campus life, and their raw opinions about beef, apricots, honey and peanut butter.
Tweets and posts via @BUBearHabitat are typically shared through the assistance of the bears’ dedicated student caregivers within the Baylor Chamber of Commerce. However, Joy and Lady began tweeting directly with the public via a customized paw-friendly Twitter app mounted in a bear-sized wooden box in the Bear Habitat.
When triggered, a tweet from Joy or Lady is posted to the Habitat’s Twitter account. All tweets sent from the bears using this unique direct communication tool are signed #BaylorHabiTweets.
The more personal communication with the beloved bears garnered national praise from the Baylor Family and beyond, earning nearly 500,000 impressions, 600 retweets and 6,000 likes on Twitter.
For their efforts, Joy, 20, and Lady, 19, were treated to additional enrichment sessions with caregivers, allowing more interactions between the thousands of visitors to the habitat. One of the most visited attractions on Baylor’s campus, the Williams Bear Habitat earned accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in May 2020. Baylor is the world’s first university to receive this designation.
Watch for more #BaylorHabiTweets during this spring’s basketball season.
Lady: The Miracle Bear
The Baylor Family has closely followed the health updates of Judge Lady, one of Baylor’s two beloved American black bears, as she continues her recovery and rehabilitation from a successful operation in August 2020 to remove a cyst that developed around her spinal column. Now, the public can walk through the remarkable and emotional journey of groundbreaking medical care through Lady: The Miracle Bear, a short documentary filmed over the past year.
The documentary contains interviews with the caregiver team, including current and former student caregivers, Baylor staff and administration, and veterinary personnel, as well as never-before-seen footage of Lady’s recovery and a behind-the-scenes look at the world-class care the bears receive.