It is with great sadness that the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium announces that Rocky, our 28-year-old Kodiak bear, and a favorite among our visitors, has passed away.
Rocky suffered from severe arthritis in multiple joints along with bridging of the vertebrae along his spine. This caused nerve abnormalities in the spinal cord that resulted in Rocky’s decreased ability to use his rear limbs and he was in constant pain. Our veterinary staff did everything they could to help alleviate Rocky’s pain and slow the progression of his disease but Rocky’s quality of life continued to decline in the past several months.
Rocky was euthanized with Mo at his side on Wednesday, August 18, 2010. The entire Zoo staff is mourning the loss of Rocky, as he has been member of the Zoo’s family since he was 1 year old. Many keepers, especially Mo, had developed a relationship with Rocky. According to Mo, he and Rocky were “buddies” and had a complete understanding of each other. Losing an animal for any keeper is painful because of the bond with their animals.
Below is a video of Mo and Rocky in 2008.