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Zoo Knoxville announces the death of Milo the 22-year-old American Black Bear

Milo was humanely euthanized on Thursday due to age-related health issues, Zoo Knoxville officials said.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Zoo Knoxville announced the death of Milo, a 22-year-old American Black Bear. 

Milo was humanely euthanized on Thursday due to age-related health issues, Zoo Knoxville officials said.

According to a press release, Milo and his brother, Odie, were rescued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game when their mother died in 1999, and were cared for at the Fort Worth Zoo before coming to Zoo Knoxville in 2001, where they lived out the rest of their lives in Black Bear Falls.

Milo recently began exhibiting signs that he was struggling with painful arthritis, loss of appetite, and other related health issues, officials said.

He was being closely monitored over the last few weeks by his caregivers and the veterinary team from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Despite treatment with pain medications and appetite stimulants, his quality of life continued to decline and the decision was made to humanely euthanize him when it became clear his condition was not improving, Zoo Knoxville officials said.

“Milo delighted our guests as an ambassador for one of our most iconic native species,” said Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education. Although Milo could not be released back into the wild, he helped tell the story of black bears in Appalachia and how we can coexist with and protect native wildlife. Milo was a special bear and he will be missed by us all.”

His companions Ursula, Monty, and Finn, will be given extra care and attention to help them adjust to the loss of Milo.

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