The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre has lost its most beloved senior black bear, Knut.
The 25-year-old Knut’s health rapidly declined over the past week and he eventually passed away peacefully at the recovery centre in Errington.
Knut was born in captivity at a Vancouver Game Farm in 1996 and was turned over to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre when his mother was not able to care for him.
The black bear had a remarkable close and special bond with caretaker Robin Campbell, who raised him.
According to a release from the centre, the care given to Knut over the years has proven to be invaluable to the NIWRC as it helped the centre develop a world-class black bear rehabilitation program. The centre has cared and released hundreds of ill, injured or orphaned cubs back into the wild.
“Over his lifetime, Knut was an iconic animal ambassador at NIWRA and a favourite for caretakers, volunteers and visitors alike,” said the release. “He was the focal point of the centre’s Discover Bear presentations. He helped educate thousands of visitors on the importance of wildlife stewardship and conservation. Social media posts featuring Knut and Rae always received the most likes and comments, and we know many will feel his loss deeply.
“A special resting place has been prepared for Knut, and the public will have access to it in the future. The centre is preparing signage to honour this incredibly special bear.”
— NEWS Staff, submitted