Fans and staff at the OC Zoo are mourning the passing of Nacho, a much-loved black bear that lived at the zoo for more than 11 years. Nacho died on Feb. 14, 2013.
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife brought Nacho to the zoo in 2001 because he was orphaned at a very young age and didn’t have a mother to care for him in the wild. The cinnamon-colored bear shared an enclosure with Yo-Yo (both bears were named by children during a contest).
“I can still remember the day when Nacho and Yo-Yo were introduced at the OC Zoo,” Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District, said. “They were among my children’s favorite animals there, and we’ll all miss seeing Nacho there very much.”
Nacho suffered from a variety of ailments, including epilepsy. Zoo staff and veterinarians provided care and treatment that helped extend his life beyond what it would have been in the wild.
“We are very saddened by the loss of Nacho,” OC Zoo Manager Donald Zeigler said. “He was such a big part of the zoo family and brought joy to many visitors. The zoo staff will miss him deeply.”
Visitors bringing flowers to show their respects will be admitted to the OC Zoo free of charge through Monday, Feb. 18. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made payable to the OC Parks Foundation, 13042 Old Myford Rd., Irvine, CA 92602, note “OC Zoo fund.”