July 3, 2012. Jane the Bear, age 29, passed away late in the evening this past Friday. Trainers noticed the bear wasn’t feeling well on Thursday and she finally succumbed to old age the following night.
Jane came to Grandfather Mountain on January 22, 1993 after being rescued from an abusive home at a roadside zoo. Her background of abuse caused her to be fairly wary of people, but she loved to get treats and her personality mellowed a great deal as she matured.
Jane was a mother several times throughout her life. She was very nurturing and will always be remembered as a wonderful mother to several cubs. Black bears typically live 25-30 years in captivity.
Jane was the second oldest bear to live at Grandfather Mountain’s Animal Habitats. Maxi, a descendant of Mildred the Bear, died in April 2004 at the age of 34. Maxi’s sister Mini also lived to be 29 but died soon after her birthday. Jane’s age was closer to 29.5 years.
Jane loved “belly sliding,” people watching and catching live fish. She was well known for her endearing puppy-dog eyes when she wanted something and for her death stare when she was angry.
“We’ve known Jane for a long time,” Crae Morton, past President and current board member of Grandfather Mountain said. “Each animal has its own personality and it’s difficult not to become attached. We will miss her dearly.”
Carolina, another black bear, was recently moved into Jane’s enclosure and will remain there. Grandfather Mountain still has seven black bears and there are currently no plans to acquire any more at this time.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com or call 800-468-7325.