Oldest bear in the world is un-bear-lievably well

Credit: Steve Barton

Dudley Zoo's black bear, Inca, who is thought to be the oldest in the world, is doing well after sailing through her annual health check.

As the oldest Asiatic black bear on zoo records worldwide, astounding Inca underwent her yearly medical with the attraction's vets Peter and Cristian a couple of weeks ago and her results have come back clear.

Inca, who was sedated in her den for the 40-minute check-up, had her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, pads, feet and claws looked at, as well as undergoing routine blood tests. She had a manicure and pedicure too, as she can’t wear her nails down herself anymore. 

One of the key factors helping the much-loved 38-year-old’s current fine form is this heatwave, which is doing her joints the world of good. Curator Richard Brown, who assisted the vets, said:

“Inca is doing incredibly well for an old girl and has exceeded the life span of a wild Asiatic black bear by well over a decade. She is definitely more active in this current hot spell and is moving about quite a bit. As with ageing people, the warm weather is good for their joints.”

Inca goes into semi-hibernation, or a period of torpor, in her den between around November and March but has been known to make an appearance if there is a particularly mild winter’s day.


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