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Andean bear at San Francisco Zoo dies

March 9, 2012 | 11:20 am

A 25-year-old Andean bear at the San Francisco Zoo was euthanized Monday after he fell ill several weeks ago with a suspected neurological illness, officials said.

Zookeepers noticed about a month ago that Wishbone was unable to walk properly with his hind legs, said Corinne MacDonald, curator of primates and carnivores. He was taken off exhibit and moved to dens in the back.

"He initially was doing pretty well out there and we were hopeful we would see further improvement," MacDonald said.

Wishbone was born at the Los Angeles Zoo but was transferred to San Francisco when he was about a year old. He spent most of that time with a mate named Annie who died a few years ago, she said.

A necropsy to determine the cause of death was conducted earlier this week but the results are not yet known, MacDonald said.

"He’s a staff favorite and a guest favorite," she said. "He’s definitely going to be missed."


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Photo: Andean bear Wishbone at the San Francisco Zoo. Credit: Marianne Hale / San Francisco Zoo