Macau’s Asian black bear Bobo who has been living in Flora Garden for over three decades died today after his health deteriorated in the last weeks.
Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) said on Monday in a statement, pointing out that the popular ursine was suffering from “old age illnesses” such as joint disease and cataracts in recent years, his movements were slowing down and he was spending more time resting in his den.
“The average lifespan of Asian black bears is only 30 years, so Bobo can be called a granddaddy,” the statement said.
The average lifespan in the wild is 25 years, while the oldest Asian black bear in captivity died at the age of 44.
“The deteriorating condition of his joints was getting worse, causing him to experience hind leg weakness and limping,” the statement said.
“He could not eat by himself. Vets are feeding him by hand so that he can eat albeit a small amount of food, which is not even 10 percent of his normal daily intake,” the statement added a day before the bear died.
Bobo was a cub when he was rescued from a tiny cage displayed outside a gourmet restaurant in Rua da Felicidade in the mid-1980s.
According to reports at that time, Bobo was destined for the cooking pot. The restaurant owner is said to have smuggled the bear from the mainland to Macau.
The authorities took action after complaints by residents who had taken pity on the baby bear whose cage was so small that he couldn’t even stand up.
Local journalist Harald Bruning play a very important role saving the cub calling the authorities to interfere and keep the little bear.
The international conservation status of the Asian black bear, also known as the moon bear, is “vulnerable.”
The Asian black bear is listed as a protected animal in mainland China’s National Protection Wildlife Law, which stipulates that anyone hunting or catching the bear without permits will be subject to severe punishment.
Earlier this year, the government said it was planning to move Bobo from Flora Garden to a new enclosure in Coloane.
At that time, the public expressed concern that Bobo’s planned relocation would be inappropriate considering his advanced age.