One of the most impressive live mascots in collegiate sports is undoubtedly the Colorado Buffaloes live buffalo.
Today, the rare crossover of sports and the animal kingdom lost a star, “Ralphie IV” passed away peacefully one month short of her 20th birthday.
The cause of Ralphie IV’s passing was liver failure. A large, abnormal growth began to develop on her left side, an indication of liver failure that caused rapid decline. The live buffalo mascot was a feature of the Colorado football program for a decade, between 1998-2008 she helped strike fear in the heart of the opposition.
We are saddened at the passing of Ralphie IV today. She last led the Buffs onto the field in 2008. Story: https://t.co/7VYj8PC2Sa
— Colorado Buffaloes (@CUBuffs) March 20, 2017
Literally taken from the jaws of a wild coyote and bottle-fed back to health, she was donated to the university in 1998.
20 years is considered to be a long life for a buffalo, and the number of people who have spoken out and verbalized their grief speaks to the love and support Ralphie IV felt throughout her life. She was humanely euthanized when it was determined that she would be unable to recover.
She was buried in an undisclosed location, where she spent the last ten years of her life in retirement grazing the fields.