Taronga’s giant Kodiak Bear ‘Bethyl’ is celebrated her 33rd birthday this week making her one of the oldest of her species in the world!
As her Keepers we all have a soft spot for this beautiful old bear, but even the Keepers in other divisions just adore her. Australian Mammal Keeper, Lyn Sehlin made a special trip to the fish markets to pick up her favourite delicacy, a large Atlantic Salmon, to help her celebrate. Within minutes she’d polished off the entire fish with her sharp teeth and long claws, just like she would in the wild.
Bethyl is particularly special being the only Kodiak Bear in Australasia and possibly the oldest in the world. She was born in Colorado Springs, 17 January 1977
Kodiak Bears normally live to 25 years of age so she’s certainly in her twilight years. With the abundance of fresh food and special care we give her, she has made it to this ripe old age. Apart from some mild arthritis - which she's being treated for - she is doing very well and in bear terms she’d definitely be up for a telegram from the Queen.