Indie, the Topeka Zoo’s black bear, has passed away

The Topeka Zoo has announced the passing of its black bear Indie.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:37 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Zoo has announced the passing of its black bear Indie.

According to the Zoo’s announcement on Thursday, Indie did not eat much on Sunday, but the Zoo said that was not unusual during this time of year. However, on Monday Indie was not improving and by Tuesday morning, Indie suffered a seizure.

The Zoo then said it proceeded to anesthetize Indie and evaluated her. Unfortunately, the staff said her condition was becoming worse and the decision was made to euthanize her on Wednesday, October 19.

“The odds seemed to be stacked against Indie at the beginning of her life,” said Animal Curator, Shanna Simpson. “However, here at the Topeka Zoo, she thrived and made a difference. She connected with thousands of people, capturing their hearts, and helping people learn about the plight black bears face in the wild. She challenged our staff in so many ways and we adored her. This is a shocking loss, and we are devastated.”

Indie, which is short for Independence, first arrived at the Topeka Zoo in June of 2014 after she lost her mother. The Zoo said she was found in an Oregon backyard by a young boy who carried the baby bear back to his mother who then proceeded to call the local police.

The Zoo says that Indie was in very poor health when she arrived. She weighed seven lbs. and had a skin infection.

Following her death, a necropsy was conducted, and the Zoo staff discovered abnormal tissue on the stomach and pancreas. The Zoo says that further evaluation will be done by an external pathologist to determine the cause.

“When you devote your life to working and caring for animals, days like today are the most difficult.” said Simpson.