George Schroeder | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor celebrated the 19th and 20th birthdays of Lady and Joy, the University’s real life black bear mascots, last Friday at the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat on campus.
A long line of students waiting to take part in the festivities had already formed before the start of the event at 11 a.m. The event was themed around sustainability, and along with seeing the bears, the guests were given their choice of custom sustainable items such as a tote bag or a reusable straw.
While students did have to wait in line for an extended amount of time to allow for proper social distancing around the habitat, Keller, TX., freshman Courtney Lyons and Greenville, SC., freshman Megan Dillon said they didn’t mind the wait.
“We got some pictures, we got to see Joy, so it was worth it,” Lyons said.
Students weren’t the only ones who came to visit the bears. Baylor alumni also joined the line and celebrated the bears’ birthdays. Baylor alumni, Jay and Lydia Mathis brought two of their grandchildren to the event.
“We came back in the day when the bears would come to the football games, and that was fun,” Lydia Mathis said.
Senior Bailey Havis, the Lead Caregiver at the Baylor Bear Habitat was excited to welcome everyone to the event and was excited the bears were doing well at 19 and 20, because most black bears only live around 15 years in the wild.
“You know for us being able to see them everyday, we want to share that as much as we can,” Havis said, “so this opportunity to have so many here together in a safe way is so meaningful for us, to see everyone celebrating the way that we get to celebrate on a daily basis.”
The bears are living in what the staff described as their “golden years,” and they hope the bears will continue to live happily for years to come.