Portland, OR – Staff at the Oregon Zoo is mourning the sudden and unexpected death of a black bear named Takoda. According to a news release from the zoo, Takoda died of cardiac arrest while under anesthesia during a routine medical procedure.
“It is just devastating for the zoo staff and really the entire zoo community,” said Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s Great Northwest area. “Takoda brought so much joy. He was the life and spirit not only of the group of black bears but also the care staff. He was loved by everyone — from the older bears who adopted him into their group to the keepers who cared for him every day to thousands of fans on social media. It is heartbreaking.”
“Our vet staff did everything possible to bring him back. They were performing CPR for more than a half hour, but they couldn’t revive him.”
Takoda was orphaned as a cub in Montana and he came to the Oregon Zoo in November 2010. As a youngster, Takoda used to climb a 50-ft tree that was in his enclosure. “It was breathtaking to see a 400-pound bear so high up in one of those giant trees,” Koons said. “A little scary for us, to be honest, but black bears are natural climbers.”
Takoda eventually gave up the harrowing climbs, but continued to entertain staff and visitors with his playful antics in the pool.
He will be remembered as a “spunky, amazingly smart and an incredible, fun-loving individual.”
Rest in peace Takota.
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