SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - America's oldest Asiatic black bear has died after staff at the Henson Robinson Zoo decided to humanely euthanize her.
A press release from the Springfield Park District said Mandy, who spent over 33 years in Springfield, began showing unusual behaviors. A health and wellness check led to the euthanasia decision.
Mandy was born in West Virginia and came to Henson Robinson on March 19, 1986. She was paired in Springfield with her companion Boo-Boo.
Director Jeff Mitchell remembers Mandy fondly.
"Mandy was a very charismatic bear and a great ambassador for her species at the Henson Robinson Zoo," he said. "Having spent over 33 years here shows the quality of care here at Henson Robinson Zoo. The staff have taken care of Mandy over the years and their affection for Mandy never lacked. We are devastated by her passing and are working together as a group to remember Mandy as the wonderful, fun loving, slightly stubborn bear that she was.”
Mandy held the U.S. lifespan record for Asiatic black bears at 35 years and 9 months. The oldest Asiatic black bear all-time lived to be 42.
On average, Asiatic black bears live to be 25-29 years old.