SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Zoo announced the passing of Bernie, a spectacled bear, on Thursday night.
A Facebook post said Bernie lived eight years past her expected lifespan and helped to inspire and educate millions of visitors. She was one of the first animals guests encountered upon entering the zoo.
Veterinarians and animal care staff decided to euthanize Bernie after her health had declined to a point where it was compromising her quality of life.
“Bernie was a dearly loved member of our San Antonio Zoo family who inspired visitors and staff alike," said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. “During Bernie’s final days our staff worked to ensure Bernie remained comfortable and the fact that she lived 8 years past her expected lifespan is a testament to the world class care she received at San Antonio Zoo. Please keep our dedicated staff and in particular our Animal Care Specialists in your thoughts and prayers as our zoo family mourns the loss of Bernie.”
The zoo said Bernie originally came from the Buffalo Zoo and had two offspring. She could often be seen sleeping and relaxing. In 2015, her grandson came to live at the San Antonio Zoo from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.