Butler Blue III dies at 12

The university mourns the loss of former mascot, Trip. Photo courtesy of @butlerblue3 on Instagram.

AIDAN GREGG | MANAGING EDITOR | agregg1@butler.edu 

For over seven years, Butler Blue III — better known as Trip — brought Butler’s name and spirit across the country as the university’s live mascot. Trip died early in the morning on Saturday, April 6, at age 12. 

Trip’s time at Butler began in 2012 when he was adopted by former live mascot handler Michael Kaltenmark at just seven weeks old. His tenure as mascot began in March 2013, taking over for Butler Blue II. 

As live mascot, Trip traveled the country — visiting 22 states — delivering admissions decisions, traveling with the men’s basketball team and making several television appearances. Toward the end of his career, he starred in the Netflix docuseries “Dogs” and had over 100,000 followers across all of his social media platforms. 

Trip retired in May 2020, passing the collar to current mascot Butler Blue IV. At this time, Kaltenmark stepped down from his position as Blue’s handler, and Evan Krauss filled his position as caretaker and handler. 

Even after his retirement, Trip remained a staple of the Butler community. When Blue IV tore his CCL and underwent surgery, Trip returned to some of his old duties, bringing admissions decisions to prospective students and appearing on Fox 59’s Indy Now. 

“Trip will long be remembered for his spirit and passion,” Kaltenmark said. “He reveled in his work and relished the limelight, taking great pride in his role as mascot. As we mourn his loss, we do so with fond memories and a debt of gratitude for his service.”

In a statement to the university made Saturday afternoon, President Danko offered his condolences and thanked the Kaltenmark family for “pouring their love and time into Trip and the live-mascot program.” He also thanked the veterinarians involved in Trip’s care. 

Trip’s jersey and portrait will be on display in Butler’s bookstore from Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14. A memorial service will be held for Trip at a date to be determined. For now, Butler mourns the loss of a beloved member of the community. 

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