Great Plains Zoo mourns loss of beloved bear "Smokey" - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Great Plains Zoo mourns loss of beloved bear "Smokey"

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The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History mourns the loss of its beloved Alaskan Brown Bear "Smokey."

 "Smokey" and his sister "Kenai" came to the Zoo as 6-month-old cubs 18 years ago. "Kenai" can be seen in the Zoo's Bear Canyon exhibit. The Zookeepers who cared for "Smokey" described him as inquisitive.  They said "Smokey" enjoyed playing in the pool in the Zoo's Bear Canyon exhibit on hot days, and taking bubble baths as part of his enrichment activities. 

 "Smokey" developed a tumor on his right forearm and was unable to eat or move much at all. A preliminary health check showed "Smokey" had a number of problems, including heart failure, that hastened his end.

"Our Animal Care staff worked diligently to ensure "Smokey" received the best care possible, but despite their tireless efforts, his quality of life continued to decline," said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo. "This is a very difficult loss for our Zoo family, as ‘Smokey' was a long-time resident of the Zoo."

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