We are sad to share that Columbo, Whipsnade Zoo’s elderly sloth bear, was put to sleep on Wednesday 5 October, after succumbing to a number of age-related conditions that were affecting his quality of life.
The 24-year-old sloth bear had been experiencing various age-associated health problems since January, including having difficulty moving and grooming himself, and was in the care of ZSL’s veterinary team - who had been managing his discomfort with pain medication, as well as a closely-managed diet.
Thanks to the combined dedication of ZSL’s veterinary team and his keepers, Colombo’s condition had remained manageable until very recently; sadly he began to deteriorate rapidly at the beginning of October and with heavy hearts all round it was decided that euthanasia was the kindest outcome.
Colombo was born at London Zoo, but came to live at Whipsnade in April 2008, alongside his late mother Lanka and sister Ursula. Columbo was a firm favourite with Whipsnade staff and visitors alike for 14 years and will be sadly missed.