Phoenix Zoo’s 26-year-old Andean bear, Rio, euthanized after tumor found

Apr 18, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: Apr 19, 2022, 10:16 am

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Zoo’s 26-year-old Andean bear, Rio, was euthanized after a tumor was found, the zoo announced Monday.

Rio had recently stopped eating and was lethargic, leading veterinarians to do a medical exam that showed the mass.

They said the aggressive nature of the tumor would require extensive bladder resection and surgery was unlikely to be successful. That led the decision to Rio being euthanized.

“Rio touched so many lives and will be greatly missed by staff and guests alike,” Kim, a carnivore keeper at the zoo, said in a press release.

Rio was born at the Calgary Zoo in 1995 and had been in Phoenix since 1996.

She came to the zoo with her sister, Mischief, and raised one cub, Luka, during her time in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Zoo has one remaining Andean bear, 2-year-old Agapito, that is housed in the Forest of Uco habitat.

The median life expectancy for Andean bears is 26.1 years, according to the zoo.

They are the only bear species native to South America.

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Phoenix Zoo’s 26-year-old Andean bear, Rio, euthanized after tumor found