He educated and entertained three generations of Kamloops residents, but old age and ill health finally took their toll on Shardik the bear.
On Tuesday, B.C. Wildlife Park officials announced the death of the elderly grizzly, saying the animal was euthanized days earlier because they had simply run out of options for getting the 37-year-old bruin mobile again after winter’s hibernation.
“There just was no further treatment we could do for him,” said Paul Williams, animal care supervisor.
“He was unable to stand and was in pain even though he was on anti-inflammatory medication. It wasn’t a good quality of life.”
For 10 years, Shardik suffered from increasingly debilitating arthritis.
The disease progressed so much in his final years that he had become a mere shadow of his former self; the powerful and alert bear that once roamed the park’s grizzly enclosure.
This spring was his worst to date.