GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo has donated hundreds of stuffed animals to Helon DeVos Children’s Hospital in honor of its longtime brown bear.
The zoo said it delivered over 900 teddy bears and other stuffed animals to the hospital Friday.
John Ball Zoo collected stuffed animals during the month of October to honor the life of Yogi, a brown bear who was a zoo staple for about 30 years. He was humanely euthanized at the age of 31 after suffering from arthritis.
“We are heartened that our community showed so much support and love for Yogi, who was a beloved member of our Zoo family, and the children at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” Jaime Racalla, zookeeper supervisor at John Ball Zoo, said in a statement. “We hope these teddy bears bring some comfort for children and their families as they navigate health issues.”