Macau's iconic bear Bobo dies at 35

Local | Cissy So 21 Nov 2018

Macau's beloved black bear Bobo, who went from being rescued from a restaurant to an icon in the SAR, has passed away at the age of 35.

The Asian black bear was the only bear in Macau, and was rescued in the 1980s when it was sent to a restaurant to be eaten.

Bobo passed away at Flora Garden in Macau yesterday, said the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. The bear had suffered from arthritis, cataracts, and infections, and over the past few days had to be hand-fed.

One of Bobo's caretakers said the bear used to enjoy swimming, but had been unable to walk to the pool in recent years.

A week-long commemorative period has been established at Flora Garden, so citizens can pay their respects.

Staff, caretakers and vets at the park had a strong relationship with Bobo, and were heartbroken.

An autopsy will be carried out on Bobo to determine the cause of death, and inspect the body tissue. Fans on Facebook have suggested making a bronze statue. Bobo's plight was publicized to help spread the message about the need to protect animals.

Bobo was a cub when he was rescued from a tiny cage outside a gourmet restaurant in Rua da Felicidade in the mid-1980s. He was smuggled from the Mainland to Macau, destined to be a dish. The Macau authorities took action after complaints by residents who had taken pity on the baby bear, whose cage was so small that he couldn't move.

He has been looked after at Flora Garden ever since.

Earlier this year, Macau authorities were planning to move Bobo to a new enclosure in Coloane, but scrapped the idea because of his age.

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