GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is holding a teddy bear drive to honor the life of a brown bear who recently died.
Yogi, a 31-year-old male, died last week after suffering from arthritis. He was humanely euthanized at the zoo.
Yogi was originally born inside Yellowstone National Park but after several human-animal conflicts, he was brought to John Ball Zoo, where he was a staple for nearly 30 years.
“Yogi was very easygoing,” zookeeper Jackie Wolfinger-Zellinger told News 8. “Things have been difficult, we miss him around here.”
The zoo is collecting teddy bears to serve as a remembrance for Yogi. The bears will be donated to patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
The zoo will be collecting stuffed animals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 19. The toys should be new with tags on them and they can be dropped off at the guest services office.