Longtime UC mascot Lucy the bearcat loses battle with cancer

Lucy the bearcat, the longtime unofficial live mascot of the University of Cincinnati, has been euthanized following a yearlong battle with cancer.

Zoo officials confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon just a few months after the bearcat celebrated her 13th birthday.

“She was always excited to see one person in particular,” a statement from the zoo reads. “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.”

Lucy stepped away from her public duties in 2019. Ever since 2008, Lucy attended University of Cincinnati athletic events as a live representation of the university’s mascot.

She has been an ambassador for the species and has been to more than 200 games at the university over the past decade.

Lucy enjoyed the final few years of her life in quiet retirement, eating her favorite foods like grapes, bananas and blackberries.

In recent years, Lucy was replaced by a new bearcat named Lucille who attended University of Cincinnati events in Lucy’s place.

Lucille was born at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee, and moved to Cincinnati in late 2019, living alongside Lucy.

Also known as the binturong, the bearcat is agile like a cat in the canopy and less adept on the ground, walking flat-footed like a bear. However, it is neither a bear nor a cat, but belongs to the civet and mongoose family.

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