2011-01-06 / Local & State

Seattle Zoo Sloth Bear, 20, Dies

SEATTLE (AP) – A 20- year-old female sloth bear described by her keepers as ``feisty'' has died at Woodland Park Zoo during a health exam. Dr. Darin Collins says a postmortem on Medina found extensive liver cancer that had spread to nearby tissue.

The Seattle zoo’s mammal curator Martin Ramirez said Wednesday’s exam was scheduled after keepers noticed a sudden drastic decrease in Medina’s activity and appetite. Shortly after she was put under anesthesia for the exam, her heart stopped. The final cause of death is pending.

Medina arrived at Woodland Park Zoo in 2008. Ramirez called her ``a feisty bear, one who always made her presence known.''

Sloth bears are native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and are an endangered species. They have been known to live as long as 40 years in captivity.

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