Oldest black bear in U.S. dies

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Park District’s Henson Robinson Zoo announced the passing of Asiatic Black Bear “Mandy”.

Mandy was born on January 15, 1984, in West Virginia and came to the zoo on March 19, 1986. Mandy was paired with her companion Boo-Boo and lived at the zoo for over 33 years.

Before her passing, keepers noticed some unusual behaviors and vet staff from the University of Illinois and zoo vets scheduled a wellness check.

During this check, Mandy’s health and wellness was assessed and it was determined that she needed to be humanely euthanized by the veterinarian staff.

Director Jeff Mitchell said, “Mandy was a very charismatic bear and a great ambassador for her species at the Henson Robinson Zoo. Having spent over 33 years here shows the quality of care here at Henson Robinson Zoo. The staff has taken care of Mandy over the years and their affection for Mandy never lacked. We are devastated by her passing and are working together as a group to remember Mandy as the wonderful, fun loving, slightly stubborn bear that she was.”

Mandy was the oldest Asiatic Black Bear in North America at 35 years and 9 months old. The oldest Asiatic Black Bear ever recorded lived to be 42 and the average Asiatic Black Bear lives between 25-29 years.

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