Cameron Park Zoo is mourning the death of black bear Donna

WACO, TX (KWTX) – Cameron Park Zoo staff are mourning the loss of Donna, a 25-year-old North American black bear.

Donna was humanely euthanized today after extensive cancer treatment. In July 2022, she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a skin cancer, in her back and suffered from arthritis.

Donna has been at the Cameron Park Zoo since 2005 and has been a senior. Weighing the risks of various treatment options and keeping Donna’s best interests in mind, the veterinary staff decided against conventional treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy because of the potential for severe side effects, staff safety, and the stress it would cause Donna.

While undergoing experimental treatment with a cancer vaccine, his current cancer showed signs of further growth. The staff then changed his environment and food intake. The veterinary and animal care staff closely monitored Donna’s quality of life and also spent extra time with her.

“When it became clear that cancer was affecting Donna, the zoo decided that euthanasia was the best way to end the pain and suffering. Cameron Park Zoo staff and volunteers are deeply saddened by the loss of Donna,” said Michelle Bean, spokeswoman for the city of Waco. “The community’s support is greatly appreciated during this difficult time.”

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