UCLA turning 100 wasn’t the only birthday that was celebrated in 2019. The 2-plus-ton, 10-foot-long, 6-foot-tall Bruin statue turned 35 in September.
A gift from the UCLA Alumni Association, the campus icon cost $37,000 to cast, with another $10,000 for artist Billy Fitzgerald’s fee.
The grizzly guards Bruin Plaza year after year, but once a year, the bronze beast itself needs to be guarded. During the week before the crosstown rivalry football game against USC, it’s hibernation time for The Bruin — when a box protects the statue from would-be vandals.