(Colorado Springs, CO) On Friday night, April 8th, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs lost a beloved resident.
According to a news release from the zoo, Honey, a 29-year-old Asiatic black bear, was euthanized after veterinary staff discovered "serious age-related conditions." Honey, and her sister Beezler, have lived at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for almost 28 years.
The zoo shared this tweet with photos of Honey on Saturday.
The fluffy, large ear, black bear siblings have been a favorite of both zoo visitors and staff. Honey was described as more "laid-back" than her sister and liked to lounge in the enclosure hammock.
The siblings occasionally bickered over food and treats, sometimes playing tug-of-war with a cornstalk, but they sought out each other's company. The sisters slept near each other at night, and zoo patrons frequently saw them lying together in the sun.
The siblings looked similar, but you could distinguish Honey and Beezler by the color of their claws. Beezler has brown claws while Honey's were lighter. Honey was also shorter, although they weighed a similar 300 pounds each. Asiatic black bears are much smaller than grizzly bears, like Emmett and Digger, who also live at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Beezler spent quality time with Honey on her final day and will undoubtedly miss her sister. The surviving sister is now the oldest known Asiatic black bear living under human care. Beezler is receiving extra attention and special enrichment like fresh mud puddles to help her through this transition.
The passing of Honey is a significant loss for Beezler, zoo staff, and the community. Rest in peace, Honey.