We are sad to announce the death of the current, oldest Andean bear in any AZA-accredited zoo, Patty. Also known as a spectacled bear, Andean bears are native to South American and live to be in their mid-20s in human care. Patty lived to be 31 years old, most of her long life at the Houston Zoo.
Patty suffered from allergies much of her life which resulted in thinning hair, but the keepers who spent their lives caring for Patty gave her local honey which helped her allergies. One and a half years ago, Patty was found to have cancer that the zoo’s veterinarians removed, however, this week during an exam, her cancer was found to have returned and spread. Due to her advanced age, and the progression of the cancer, the animal care team made the decision to euthanize Patty.
Patty’s keepers will remember her relaxed personality and for how much she seemed to like building and fluffing nests out of sheets and wood wool, so she could find the perfect sleeping or napping position.