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Back in 2007, the Houston SPCA seized two grizzly bears from someone who, for whatever reason, couldn’t properly care for them. The grizzlies, named Boomer and Bailey, were kept in tiny cages and had become obese from lack of exercise. When the SPCA found them, both were in very poor health and suffered from severe dental disease, among other things.
The SPCA gave the grizzlies over to the Houston Zoo, which nursed them back to health. Boomer, the oldest of the two bears, seems to have needed the most help – veterinarians at the zoo discovered lymphoma in both of Boomer’s eyes, and in 2012 his right eye had to be removed. In recent years, Boomer began being treated for chronic arthritis and an infection that zoo workers say had become “debilitating.”
The Houston Zoo posted a somber message on its blog saying Boomer was euthanized yesterday. The bear's keepers and veterinarians decided to put the bear down after he'd become uninterested in food and less responsive to his medications.
“After reviewing all options, our veterinary and bear experts decided that the most humane option was to peacefully euthanize him," wrote Houston Zoo spokeswoman Jackie Wallace. "Whenever an animal dies, no matter what the reason, it is a tragic event and our staff morns the loss of a member of their family."