LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock Zoo is in mourning after losing a long-time resident Thursday.
In a statement, Little Rock Zoo officials said 33-year-old grizzly bear Nona passed away Thursday.
On April 11, Zoo staff noticed an abnormality in Nona’s mouth. An examination revealed that the bear had advanced dental disease. Once the extent of the disease was known and after weighing the long-term impact on Nona’s future quality of life, a decision was made to humanely euthanize.
Zoo officials described Nona as a people-oriented bear, saying she was known to go to the observation glass to people-watch. They said that if guests took a picture with a grizzly bear, it was likely with Nona.
“Nona had a big personality and was stubborn. She definitely did what she wanted when she wanted,” keeper Claire McElroy added. “She was very smart and picked up on new behaviors quickly.”
Nona leaves behind a sister and littermate, Ann, with whom Zoo veterinarian Dr. Sara Stoneburg describes she had a “typical sister relationship.”
“The loss of her fun and engaging personality will leave a big hole in the heart of the Little Rock Zoo,” Zoo officials said in the statement.