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Klondike’s Extreme Makeover


KlondikeOhio Northern’s Klondike Bear came out of hibernation during Wednesday’s men’s basketball game to show off his new winter coat.

For ONU’s favorite member of the Ursidae family, this new look is the latest in a long line of incarnations. Klondike has been lean and fluffy, funny and fearsome, fastidious and funky.

How does Klondike describe his new look?
“I look great, if I do say so myself. My friends in the ONU Alumni Office sent me off on an Arctic getaway as a late Christmas present, and, boy, what a difference a few days on the ice can make! Since my return, they’ve said that I look happier, friendlier and more energetic. At the same time, I’ve been doing a little strength training and working on getting into shape. Also, I joined the Fur Club for Bears (I’m not only a member, I’m also the president!), and my new white coat is growing in nicely.”

What do you enjoy about being ONU’s favorite bear?
“What’s not to like? I get to go to all the ONU sporting events (at least, as many as I can get to) and cheer on the Polar Bears. I’ve also been known to show up at other events on and off campus, such as Relay for Life, the Harvest and Herb parade and Homecoming. Plus, I get to meet all the great students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University.”

Being a mascot is a serious job. What are “Klondike’s” rules?
“When I’m not on the job, I tend to lie low – it adds to the whole mystique thing. I also have a group of friends, a committee of sorts, that helps me get from place to place and get things done. They’ve decided to remain mostly in the background for various reasons.”

We know all about Klondike’s history – you’ve been around since 1923 – but what are your plans for the future?
“Well, for spring break, I’ll be visiting my cousin Kenai up in Alaska. We’ll pal around and do bear stuff. After that, I’m going to take a little time off for spring quarter, though I’ll be dropping in every now and then.”

Do you have any thoughts about the loss of Arctic ice for your cousins up north?
“Yeah, I’m a bit worried. I’m doing my best to keep tabs on what’s going on up there. Too much heat is not a good thing for a polar bear. Remember Homecoming last year?” [shudder]

Anything you want to say to your ONU fans?
“Thanks for coming out to support the ONU sports teams! All of the teams are having a great season, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. Also, thanks for coming to the other great events on campus, such as the parades in the fall and the Health and Wellness Fair. Keep up the good work, and good luck to everyone on their winter exams. Oh, and if anyone ever needs to get in touch with me, I now have an e-mail address:

“Go Bears!”