Crafton Hills College adopted the roadrunner as its mascot after a vote of the College’s student body in its first year of existence. This flightless bird achieved fame from the Looney Tunes cartoon that features it, along with its nemesis, Wiley Cayote, whose efforts were consistently and humorously thwarted, as this bird inevitably escaped his grasp with a trail of dust left behind (The College newspaper was named The Dust Cloud probably in reference to the cartoon dust cloud). [Use a photo or rendering of the cartoon Roadrunner here or at the top of the page.]
The roadrunner was a perfect choice because then these birds were often seen on the new campus (and on rare occasions still make visits).
Other birds have also drawn the attention of staff and students. Owls regularly nest in the trees near the Clock Tower building and the northeast end of the Central Complex. Soon after they take up residence in these trees, they give birth to chicks that draw increasing attention from passers-by.
And there are numerous other critters that roam the campus. Rabbits have always abounded in and near the campus vegetation. Anyone entering the LRC from the lower section of the building, near parking lot N, is likely to spot several of them scampering into the bushes.
Keeping an eye out for these furry creatures are the cayotes that lurk in the shadows and can be heard howling at night, when students, faculty, and staff head home after evening classes.
And then there are our snakes. Students quickly learn about these slender visitors that appear as the weather warms in the spring. They are warned by administrative notices to staff and students to be wary of these creatures; some are dangerous rattle snakes. They have been spotted slithering up and down stairs used by occasional students as they move from class to class. Occasionally shrieks from startled students signal a nearby snake.
There have even been sightings of bobcats on campus. Vice President of Administrative Services Mike Strong relates a story of a construction worker who was driving to campus early one morning to his worksite behind the Finkelstein Performing Arts Center. He was on a dirt road up the hillside when a bobcat leaped onto the hood of his pickup truck, rolled off, and scampered into the brush. Yes, he was rattled by this encounter for a while. Visitors, staff, and students should stick to the main roads on campus to avoid such adventures.
The natural setting of the College comes with life in many forms and make us aware of the larger scheme that we are part of and that we must preserve.