The Baylor Family mourns the passing of Joy, one of our beloved live bears
Earlier this week, Joy — one of Baylor’s beloved live bears, and a part of the Baylor Family for the past two decades — passed away at the age of 21 (equivalent to her late 80s or early 90s in human years).
Her passing was felt across the entire Baylor community (and even beyond). The news prompted literally thousands of comments, reactions and memories on social media (see the university’s Facebook and Instagram posts for a flood of examples).
Some of her former caretakers with Baylor Chamber shared their memories of Joy via blogs and social media posts. Even mascots from other schools — Bevo (Texas), Reveille (Texas A&M), Mike the Tiger (LSU), and Butler Blue (Butler University) offered their condolences.
On Tuesday, Voice of the Bears John Morris welcomed Dakota Farquhar-Caddell (BBA ’11), who oversees Chamber in their work with the Bears, to his radio show to reflect on Joy’s life.”It’s one of those of those days where you hold such absolute, deep grief and loss,” said Farquhar-Caddell, “but also this profound sense of gratitude and gratefulness, for all that she was to us and to the Baylor community.” (If you have questions about the past, present or future of the Bear program, you’ll want to listen to this interview.)
The university will host a remembrance service for Joy this fall after students return to campus. Her sister, Lady, will continue to receive world-class care in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat; Baylor will also begin to build a permanent retirement facility at the bears’ off-campus enrichment area, to better provide for Lady’s continued care as she ages into retirement. Baylor also hopes to receive two rescue American Black Bear cubs next year to continue the century-plus tradition of having live bear mascots reside in the heart of campus.
We will miss you, Joy.
@bayloru We miss you already, sweet Joy. 🐻💚💛👑 #restinpeace #missyou ♬ Sweet Disposition FeelingBlew – Kaysie