RIP to our beloved (retired) mascot, Ralphie IV

One of CU’s most treasured buffs and former mascots has died at 19 years old

Sunday morning, just a month shy of her 20th birthday, Ralphie IV passed away. Her veterinarian determined after several tests that she was rapidly declining due to liver failure.

John Graves, her caretaker during retirement said, “She was ready to go today. It was very peaceful… almost 20 is fairly old for a buffalo.” Because there were no effective treatment options to relieve her suffering, she was “humanely euthanized” yesterday. Ralphie IV was then buried in Henderson, Colorado, in a green pasture where she was grazed during retirement.

Born on a Montana ranch in the spring of 1997, she was given the name “Rowdy” by the ranch hands. After becoming separated from her mother and suffering a coyote attack, she was nursed back to health, but could never reintegrate with her herd. The following year, her owner Ted Turner, donated her to the University of Colorado.

Ralphie IV served as CU’s beloved mascot for 10 years, starting her career in 1998 at the Rocky Mountain Showdown, and ending her career at the very same game. This decade included six bowl games, four Big 12 championship games, 55 runs at Folsom and 75 games overall.

Many people have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and mourn this loss. Even CSU, who lost their most recently retired mascot, Cam 24, in September of 2015, has offered condolences.

Rest in peace, Ralphie IV, and thank you for your service and spirit.

University of Colorado Boulder