St. Louis Zoo grizzly bear Ernie dies

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | 3:44 p.m. CDT; updated 3:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 22, 2011

ST. LOUIS — A popular resident of the St. Louis Zoo has died.

The zoo said the 21-year-old grizzly bear named Ernie had to be euthanized Thursday because of a severe abdominal ailment. It wasn't announced until Tuesday.

The zoo said Ernie began showing signs of declining health in May. Medical treatments didn't work, and surgery on Thursday showed the condition was likely untreatable.

Ernie and a brother, Bert, were adopted by the zoo in 1991. They were orphaned after their mother was shot by a state wildlife agent because she was raiding homes near Anchorage, Alaska.


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