According to Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Louis Wright, Betsy began showing advanced age related health issues and had been under close medical care.
"One of the saddest aspects of working in a zoo is when these difficult decisions have to be made. Betsy lived a good, long life, and we're happy our guests were able to appreciate how amazing bears are through her living here" said Zoo Director Scott Barton. "Betsy was a favorite and much loved part of Fresno Chaffee Zoo, both by our community and staff. We are devastated at her passing and will miss her greatly," added Assistant Curator Lyn Myers.
Betsy, and her mate Ross, came to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in 1976 from the Los Angeles Zoo and quickly became one of the zoo's most popular animals.
The California Grizzly is California's State Terrestrial Mammal and is the bear on the state flag, but the last known Grizzly in California was killed in 1922 in Tulare. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo said most Brown Bears are currently in Alaska, Canada and Russia, and are doing well in areas where they are protected.