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Zoo Mourns Loss Of Beloved ‘Sunshine’ Bear, Sundance

Published: May 02, 2022 at 08:10 PM Author: Penny Eims

Columbia, SC – On Saturday, April 30, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden announced the death of a beloved grizzly bear named Sundance. In a release, the zoo noted that Sundance was a favorite for visitors:

It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of one of Riverbanks’ most beloved animals. Sundance, one of our two grizzly bears, passed away early today after a recent decline in health. Sundance and his brother Butch have lived at Riverbanks since the boys were about 9 months old and during that time have become a guest favorite and loved by so many in the community.

Sundance was “fondly known” as the zoo’s sunshine bear. The zoo wrote of his sweet demeanor, stating that he had a “gentle disposition, (and) kind eyes,” and revealing that he enjoyed interacting with his keepers.

Sharing his endearing antics:

He was an expert napper and could dig the perfect hole for reclining comfortably. Sundance loved to wrestle with his brother Butch and always kept an eye on his brother’s hole digging. Keepers joked that he was Butch’s foreman and oversaw all his hard work.

The zoo staff is mourning the bear who touched so many lives, noting that he was an “amazing ambassador” who inspired guests to protect and conserve nature.

The zoo stated:

He was a treasure and will be missed tremendously.

(Photo via Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Facebook page)

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Patricia Wicker
Patricia Wicker
21 days ago

I am so sorry, may he rest in peace.

10 days ago

If he hadn’t been in a zoo, he might not have died. No wild animal should ever be in captivity.

Jaime Perez
Jaime Perez
7 days ago
Reply to  nora

I totally agee with you on that one!

Venice Tucker
Venice Tucker
10 days ago

Awww cute bear RIP