PHILADELPHIA — One of the Philadelphia Zoo’s most popular animals has died.

The zoo says Ben, an Asiatic black bear, was euthanized Wednesday. The 23-year-old bear had skin cancer that had spread.

Ben was born at Natural Bridge Zoological Park in Virginia in 1994. The bear had been at the Philadelphia Zoo since 2002.

The zoo says in a Facebook post that Ben “was one of the most beloved and most popular animals among zoo staff and guests alike.”

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.