Sioux Falls Zoo Says Goodbye to Beloved Black Bear Charles
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the staff at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls to start Thanksgiving week. One minute they are welcoming new babies into their family, and the next they are saying goodbye to others.
Charles was 24-years-old. He came to the Great Plains Zoo with his sister Ella in 2009. Zookeepers at the Great Plains Zoo who met Charles fell in love with him almost immediately. The Facebook post describes Charles as a black bear who was "sweet and gentle." He was a big lover of snacks! Charles loved pumpkins, walnuts, and mulberry browse. On sunny days, zoo patrons could be found Charles in the sun taking a nap or playing with his toys.
He was one of the favorites among the staff and guests at the Great Plains Zoo. Some people might have noticed that Charles wasn't seen much in public. Zoo officials explained in the Facebook post that Charles was not doing well and hadn't been for quite some time:
Due to declining health in recent years, Charles has been living behind the scenes in a habitat renovated especially for his needs. We’ve loved sharing videos and photos of him enjoying his retirement.
The Sioux Falls community will dearly miss Charles but will certainly continue to share his memory at the zoo.
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