‘Mutt’, The spectacled bear, whose case sparked the debate about captive animals in Colombia, died this Wednesday as a result of an aggressive cancer, reported Barranquilla Zoo where the animal had remained since June 2017, when it was transferred from the Río Blanco Reserve in Caldas, where it was born.
““It is with deep sadness that we announce that this morning at 8:45 a.m., the spectacled bear named Chucho, who had been in our care since 2017, passed away during an urgently scheduled veterinary procedure.” reads the statement.
In the same document, the zoo reported that the animal had been experiencing health problems for five days.
“Chucho reduced his food intake and attracted the attention of his handlers due to his voracious appetite. “We also noticed that his breathing had changed, and eventually we discovered a sore in his mouth that was believed to be the product of an aggressive cancer.”
The report further reveals this ‘mutt’ A wound was discovered in his mouth, on the hard palate, near the molars, which was suspected to be squamous cell carcinoma, the same one he had suffered from the previous year, but which was successfully removed.
Therefore, veterinarians planned an operation to analyze his health status.
“Unfortunately, he suffered a fatal cardiovascular arrest during the procedure, during which the team of experts also confirmed the previously existing hypothesis: Chucho had malignant-looking masses in his upper respiratory tract, so it could not be ruled out that there were metastases in the lungs and tumors in other organs that may or may not be associated with the same type of cancer.”
In the same statement, the Barranquilla Zoo emphasized that this spectacled bear is a very popular animal among the staff, stressing that since 2017 it has had a group of eight professional staff at its disposal, as well as a team of 11 carers to look after it At least 7 veterinarians and external doctors (gastroenterologists, sonographers, oncologists, ophthalmologists, dentists, etc.) as well as around 30 veterinary doctors and zoo technicians are available for daily care.
Following a petition for guardianship by a plaintiff who requested the freedom of the animal, to place it in a natural habitat so that it could spend the last years of its life out of captivity, in accordance with its condition and species.
In January 2020, the Constitutional Court concluded that animals were not the subject of the law but of the protection of the Constitution, which is why “Chucho” ended his last years in captivity under the care of the Barranqiuilla Zoo.
At the time, the president of the court, Gloria Stella Ortiz, told reporters that this was one of the reasons for the rejection “Freedom” For Chucho, it is because he had no way to support himself due to his advanced age.