KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals are on the road in Minnesota, but the team is missing one notable member. Rally Mantis Jr. is staying home.
The mantis has a short lifespan, and the team didn't feel comfortable taking him on another road trip. Instead, the mantis will live out the rest of his days at Lakeside Nature Center in Swope Park.
The move was orchestrated over the weekend when the Royals reached out to the center, looking for a new home for Rally Mantis Jr.
The average lifespan of a preying mantis is about one year. Folks at the nature center are guessing Rally Jr. has a couple more months left, so he'll be spending that time in a comfortable enclosure.
Being in captivity at the nature center, he won't have to fight the colder weather that's right around the corner. He'll have the luxury of living with plenty of insects to eat. And hopefully, he'll attract more visitors to the center.
"Here at Lakeside, we focus on education. We'll have some graphics made and put up. Then we'll also have a program that focuses on the insects. So Rally can become part of our program piece also," said Lakeside Nature Center naturalist Kimberly Hess.
Toby Cook with the Royals said, "This is a great place because however long the mantis is here people will be able to see him. But then maybe they come in and see what the center is all about and they come back again and again."
While the mantis himself might not be at the games, his image will certainly still be seen everywhere in the stands in the form of masks, t-shirts, and other merchandise.
Although Rally Jr. is retiring from his duties as the team's unofficial mascot, fans are hoping his baseball magic will keep the Royals rolling into the postseason.
The Lakeside Nature Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.