Knoxville Zoo Mourns Loss of Beloved Black Bear

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email

Knoxville Zoo Mourns Loss of Beloved Black Bear

Posted: 02/22/2010
Knoxville Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved animals. Feeber, a 20- year-old black bear, was euthanized this morning at Knoxville Zoo with his keepers by his side.

Feeber, (pronounced "Fibber"), suffered a brief and debilitating illness that left him in severe pain and unable to walk due to limb paralysis. After determining there was no viable treatment option for the geriatric bear, the decision was made to humanely end his suffering by zoo staff and veterinarians from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

A favorite among guests and zoo staff alike, Feeber could often be found napping at the end of the log tunnel in Black Bear Falls, his 550 pound bulk snuggled up against the large glass window. Often the first animal visitors would see when they entered the zoo, his presence was typically made known by the exclamations of guests who were thrilled to discover him in his favorite spot.

Feeber came to Knoxville Zoo in 1990. Abandoned by his mother, he was rescued by Georgia Fish and Wildlife Service. Unable to survive on his own in the wild, he was brought to Knoxville Zoo, where he was raised by the zoo's clinic staff and made his home in the Black Bear Falls exhibit.

This is a difficult day for staff at Knoxville Zoo. Expressions of sympathy for Feeber's keepers and his other caregivers may be sent to Attn: Thoughts for Feeber, Knoxville Zoo, P.O. Box 6040, Knoxville, TN 37914.

Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, the zoo is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Beginning March 13, zoo hours will be weekdays from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit