The Buffalo Zoo is saddened by the loss of its spectacled bear, Diana, who was humanely euthanized on December 16 due to declining health. At 35 years old, Diana was the oldest spectacled bear in the world at the time of her death. Spectacled bears typically live around 20 – 25 years in captivity, and slightly less in the wild.
Diana’s personality and longevity made her a favorite Zoo resident for staff and guests. Her presence in the Zoo’s Vanishing North exhibit will be sorely missed.
Diana was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL in January of 1979, and has been at the Buffalo Zoo since May of 1980. Over her long life, Diana gave birth to three surviving cubs, who parented a total of eight offspring of their own, greatly contributing to the North American Spectacled bear population.
|Diana. Photo credit: Kelly Ann Brown|
Spectacled bears (also known as Andean bears) are listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals. There are believed to be fewer than 2,000 remaining in the wild. They are managed as a Species Survival Plan (SSP) by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and cooperating zoos.
“When animals in zoos live well beyond their average captive lifespan, it speaks to the high quality of care they received,” said Dr. Donna Fernandes, President and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “The Buffalo Zoo is home to several long-lived and record breaking animals. For example, servals Bob and Zizzi are the two oldest males in the United States. In 2014 the Zoo said good bye to Delmonico, the addax antelope, and Shanta, a Sulawesi macaque, who were the oldest living individuals of their species at the time of their deaths.”
|Photo by keeper Caitlyn Bruce|