Toby the black bear is a favourite on the Naples Zoo

NAPLES, Florida – Black bear ambassador and longtime 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 left hind leg. Over the past week, the Naples Zoo animal care team began looking into alternative treatments and oral chemotherapy.

Zookeepers worked to make him comfortable, but his health deteriorated rapidly. He felt uncomfortable and after careful examination by the Naples Zoo 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 the Naples Zoo in 2008. While most people remember Toby as the adorable bear who often sits like a person at his picnic table – once on the Today Show – it was an ambassador for his species in Tucson.

He is greatly missed at the Naples Zoo.

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