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Oldest brown bear ever in N. American zoo dies

Posted: 10:54 AM, Sep 12, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-12 10:54:19-04

The oldest brown bear to have lived at a North American zoo had to be euthanized this week at the Columbus Zoo.

The Zoo family mourns the loss of Ginger, the grizzly bear. She was humanely euthanized Thursday afternoon, Sept. 10....

Posted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on  Friday, September 11, 2015

The grizzly bear called Ginger was 40 years old and had become a beloved icon of the central Ohio zoo. She was one of the zoo's longest residents, having been brought there from the zoo in Cleveland in 1987. Grizzlies are a subspecies of brown bears.

Lately she'd been showing increasingly severe conditions of old age and was euthanized on Thursday.

The average life expectancy for a female brown bear in a North American zoo is nearly 27 years. Ginger lived long enough to break the previous record of about 38 years.

The zoo issued a statement on the loss of the bear: 

The Zoo family mourns the loss of Ginger, the grizzly bear. She was humanely euthanized Thursday afternoon, Sept. 10. She lived to be 40 years old, far exceeding the median life expectancy of 26.8-years. She had been showing increasingly severe conditions of old age and was treated for arthritis and other clinical signs common in geriatric bears. Ginger was beloved by Zoo staff and guests alike and was the oldest brown bear to reside at a North American zoo. She will be greatly missed.