BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Gladys Porter Zoo (GPZ) released a statement addressing concerns from the public on the health of one of their animals.
A video of a Gladys Porter Zoo bear has been circulating on social media and concerns are growing from the public that the bear appears to be “malnourished and visibly distressed.”
The GPZ addressed the concerns on their social media account informing the public of the steps the organization takes to care for their animals as well as video proof that the bear is healthy and safe.
The bear named “Monco” is a 30-year-old Spectacled bear or Andean bear who has been in the care of the zoo since 1993.
GPZ informed the public in their statement of Monco’s history and his species. The zoo gave an explanation of why Monco’s appearance differs from that of a more common bear.
Andean bears are much smaller than Grizzly or Black bears and have cream-colored fur around their face, according to GPZ.
Additionally, the zoo further explained that Monco has already surpassed the average life expectancy for Spectacled bears, as most live up to 20 years.
Although Monco has surpassed the age expectancy by 10 years “he is doing well”, according to the zoo.
Reassuring the public that Monco and other animals at Gladys Porter Zoo are in good health, the zoo gave further details on the care that animals at the zoo receive.
Keepers give the animal a score of 1-10 for various age-related concerns, including appetite, attentiveness, activity level, etc. This is done daily to help keepers monitor trends in the animals’ behavior and take action, if needed. Additionally, all of our animals receive regular checkups from our on-site veterinary team… Food consumption [also] is monitored daily.Gladys Porter Zoo
The animals at GPZ receive balanced diets to ensure a healthy weight, according to Gladys Porter Zoo. Monco is fed a mixture of protein, fruit, veggies, and leafy greens twice a day. He is also given treats as a part of his daily enrichment.
The health of our animals is our highest priority. Monco is in good hands and his old age is a testament to the amazing care he receives from his keepers and our animal health team.Gladys Porter Zoo
In addition, Gladys Porter Zoo appreciated the concern from the public. However, if in the future if one has concerns to simply ask them to avoid the spread of misinformation.