The Oregon Zoo said it is “in mourning” after the sudden passing of its black bear, Takoda, last week. The zoo said it happened during a routine health check.
The zoo said Takoda went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia.
“Our vet staff did everything possible to bring him back,” Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s Great Northwest area, said in a statement. “They were performing CPR for more than a half hour, but they couldn’t revive him.”
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Takoda arrived in November 2010 after being found hungry and dehydrated as an orphan cub in Montana. He weighed less than three pounds before wildlife officials nursed him back to health, the zoo said.
“Takoda brought so much joy. He was the life and spirit not only of the group of black bears but also the care staff,” Koons said. “He was loved by everyone — from the older bears who adopted him into their group to the keepers who cared for him every day to thousands of fans on social media. It is heartbreaking.”
Takoda — whose name means “friend to all” in Sioux — was known for climbing a 50-foot Douglas fir tree at the zoo’s Black Bear Ridge when he was younger. The zoo said Takoda would feast on the new growth at the top while his companions — Cubby, Tuff and Dale — would wait below to catch whatever dropped while Takoda was foraging.
“It was breathtaking to see a 400-pound bear so high up in one of those giant trees,” Koons said.
As he got older Takoda was known for “playfully relaxing in a sturdy 300-gallon tub that caregivers kept filled with cool water.”