COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CBS4) – The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has said a painful goodbye to a 29-year-old Asiatic black bear named Honey. She was one of the oldest residents of the zoo.
Zoo officials say she started showing signs of illness and pain only a few days ago. Veterinarians determined euthanasia was necessary after discovering “serious age-related conditions.”
Honey arrived at the zoo with her sister, Beezler, when they were only about a year old.
“I had walked past their exhibit for years, but until I met them and started working with them a few years ago, I never realized how cool they were,” Courtney said. Rogers, primary animal caretaker for the sisters. “Even though they were sisters and lived together their entire lives, Honey and Beezler had very different personalities. We often described Honey as a ‘nice old lady,’ but she could also be very assertive at times.
The median life expectancy of an Asiatic bear is 29.3 years.
“After guardians noticed Honey had a little trouble in one eye, veterinary ophthalmologists recommended her eye drops twice a day,” Rogers said. “Honey quickly learned to put her face through a modified blood collection port in her den. She was very good at standing still to let us put on the eye drops, and in return she had the pleasure of eating applesauce straight from the pocket.
Honey was one of the oldest known Asian black bears living in captivity.