Cancer-stricken black bear euthanized

4:06 pm June 17th, 2013

A black bear at Northwest Trek that had terminal cancer for nearly two years was euthanized last week.
The 22-year-old female bear suffered from a mammary gland tumor, first diagnosed in July 2010, and her condition continued to deteriorate despite sustained low-dose chemotherapy and surgeries, according to a veterinarian for the wildlife park, Dr. Allison Case.
“She had quite a long life,” Case said after the bear was euthanized Wednesday. “We initiated a comprehensive cancer treatment plan” that was administered daily for three years.
Zoological curator Heidi Hellmuth said Northwest Trek’s veterinary and animal care staffs “gave her an extended and enriched life that would not have been possible in the wild.”
A black bear’s average lifespan is about 20 years in the wild.
The euthanized bear and Northwest Trek’s other black bear, also 22 years old, arrived at the preserve in 1993 as orphaned cubs from Michigan.
The wildlife park also has two grizzly bears.

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