Lucille the bearcat takes in first UC basketball game

Lucille takes in her first college basketball game! (Credit: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Lucille, the University of Cincinnati’s bearcat ambassador-in-training, got her first taste of UC basketball Wednesday when she watched the women’s team take down the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.

The Bearcats are now 16-7 — and Lucille is now 1-0.

Lucille spent most of her time perched atop the shoulders of her Cincinnati Zoo care team, with which she’s developed an important bond.

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During the day’s events, the care team monitored Lucille to see how she was faring with the amped-up attention and brand-new environment. Certain behaviors, the zoo says, like eating, demonstrated she was comfortable.

“Lucille was amazing today,” care team leader Sarah Swanson said. “Every step of the way she has surprised us with her curiosity, resilience, and comfort with all the activity, sounds and smells. Her care team is so proud of her and all the hard work that has gone into acclimating Lucille. She is definitely making UC her home away from home, and we cannot be more excited for her future.”

The game was attended by about 2,000 school children, the zoo says, who got to meet Lucille and learn about her species, the binturong.

Lucille will reportedly appear at select men’s and women’s basketball games for the rest of the season as she works her way up to the football team’s home opener.

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