The start of the new year is a bittersweet one for the El Paso Zoo as they announced the news that the zoo’s beloved sun bear, Heliana, has crossed the rainbow bridge after a courageous battle with cancer. 

The City of El Paso shared a post on their Instagram account saying: 

The 30-year-old had to be euthanized due to a long battle with cancer. Medical exams revealed the cancer she was diagnosed with years ago and was being treated for, had spread throughout her body.”



Despite the fierce fight against cancer, medical exams revealed that the illness had spread throughout her body. 

According to the post, Zoo staff provided medications to keep her comfortable and the decision was made that the best course of action was to have her humanely euthanasia. 

This 30-year-old diva had been a shining star at the zoo since 1995, bringing a touch of glam from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. According to Zoo officials, Heliana was the lone sun bear in the whole state of Texas and one of just four in the entire country.

Her 30-year reign was a testament to the VIP treatment she received at the zoo. The entire animal care team is in tears, devastated by the loss of this majestic creature.

El Paso Zoo Sun Bear


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