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El Paso Zoo mourns loss of Andean Bear

El Paso Zoo mourns loss of Andean Bear
El Paso Zoo

POSTED: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 9:33am

UPDATED: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 1:37pm

The El Paso Zoo is sad to announce the loss of the its 28-year-old Andean bear, Inca.  Inca was euthanized this afternoon due to an age related severe urinary tract disease.

Staff had been keeping a close eye on her when they noticed she was not behaving normally; she was lethargic and hadn’t been eating well. Inca was anesthetized yesterday morning for an exam to help determine the cause of her symptoms. During the procedure, veterinary staff determined that the prognosis for a good quality of life was poor and humane euthanasia was the best course of action.

“We are very saddened about losing Inca. It is difficult for all staff when we lose an animal but we all know that this was the best decision for her. She will be greatly missed,” said Steve Marshall, Zoo Director.

Inca came to the El Paso Zoo in June 2006 from the Jackson Zoo. She lived in the Americas section of the Zoo with her exhibit mate, Guapo.

Keepers will be paying close attention to Guapo for any signs of grief and will provide additional attention if needed.

Keepers say that she loved enrichment treats such as honey, grapes, cheerios and fish.

She also loved the public’s attention and enjoyed sitting in the middle of the exhibit to be seen.

“This is a sad loss for all of us. Inca was very sweet and her keepers could always depend on her to greet us in the morning. We will all definitely miss her,” said Kenny Riley, Senior Keeper.

Median life expectancy in a zoo setting is 26 years. Andean bears are listed as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and are a part of the AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program.

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