Grizzly bear passes away at North Carolina Zoo

ASHEBORO, NC (WITN) - A staple at the North Carolina Zoo has passed away.

Zookeepers say Yepani died earlier this week. He had been at the zoo for 25 years and was known for being gentle and patient.

He came from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and was originally from Yellowstone National Park.

Yepani started experiencing symptoms of intervertebral disk disease, which is why zookeepers made the decision to put him down.

Over the course of his time at the zoo, he allowed keepers to brush his teeth, listen to his heart, vaccinate him and developed a close relationship with staff.