One of the Philadelphia Zoo's most memorable animals has died. The zoo announced Wednesday that Ben, their 23-year-old Asiatic black bear, was euthanized due to a skin tumor in his paw.
The zoo’s veterinary staff and professionals from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School tried removing the tumor, but after a second biopsy post-surgery, oncologists and surgeons saw that the cancer was moving deeper into his paw.
The chances of successful treatment were low, according to the Philadelphia Zoo.
It was then that the team decided euthanasia would be the most humane option for the bear, as Ben would not live a high quality of life with the cancer still in his foot, the zoo stated.
Ben was born at the Natural Bridge Zoological Park in Virginia in August, 1994. He arrived in Philadelphia in April of 2002.
Ben was very popular and beloved by the zoo’s staff and its guests, the zoo said. Guests shared their condolences after the zoo made the announcement on Facebook.