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A Naples Zoo favorite, Toby the black bear passed away

Posted at 11:48 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 23:48:09-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Black bear ambassador and long-time Naples Zoo favorite, Toby, died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 17.

Toby was recently diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a very aggressive cancer in his back left leg. Over the last week, Naples Zoo’s animal care team started looking into alternative treatments and oral chemotherapy.

Zookeepers worked to make him comfortable, but his health declined rapidly. He was in discomfort and after careful review by Naples Zoo’s veterinarian it was decided that further treatment would not help him. The difficult decision to humanely euthanize him was made yesterday.

Toby and his sister, Anna, were rescued together and arrived at Naples Zoo in 2008. While most people will remember Toby as the adorable bear often seen sitting like a person at his picnic table - once featured on the “Today Show," he was an ambassador for his species in Southwest Florida.

He will be deeply missed at Naples Zoo.