The Abilene Zoo is saddened to announce the death of one of its North American Black Bears, Boris
Boris was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in June and immediately began treatment for the disease. Recently, however, the disease had advanced, causing the animal discomfort as his heart failed. “It’s always difficult to make the decision to euthanize an animal,” explained Executive Director Bill Gersonde, “but just like with a family pet, it’s our responsibility to ensure the animal’s quality of life. In this case, there was no hope of recovery and the humane thing to do was to euthanize this bear.”Boris first came to the Abilene Zoo in February 2007 after a rocky history that included a brush with TV fame. The animal was confiscated in poor health from a roadside zoo by the Houston Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals in 2007, and his rescue was broadcast on Animal Planet TV. It occasionally turns up in reruns. He was believed to be at least 21 years old, a senior citizen in bear years. Boris shared his exhibit space with another North American Black Bear named Teddy. Teddy will remain on exhibit, as adult bears are solitary animals in the wild.