One Of Tulsa Zoo's Three Grizzly Bears Has Died

Wednesday, October 19th 2011, 3:46 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Tulsa Zoo's two-year-old grizzly bear, "Monty", was humanely euthanized Tuesday due to a progressive and untreatable fungal infection.

The zoo says zookeeper's noticed an abscess on the bear's back and veterinary staff began routine therapy for a bacterial abscess with antibiotics and regular cleaning of the infected area.

"Many types of fungus are naturally occurring in the environment and do not harm animals. Occasionally such a fungus can infect the tissues of mammals, and when it does the infection can be very aggressive," said Dr. Kay Backues, Tulsa Zoo Senior Staff Veterinarian. "In this case the fungal infection quickly became a systemic infection that was resistant to treatment."

Monty and his mother, Rainy, arrived at the Tulsa Zoo in September 2010 after being captured in Montana for repeatedly foraging for food in areas near human populations.

The Tulsa Zoo says Rainy is still acclimating to the exhibit, but has a shy personality and as a wild bear, may never fully be comfortable being in full public view.

The Tulsa Zoo's other female grizzly bear, Akoiah, is very outgoing and has acclimated very well to her new home at the Tulsa Zoo.