Miami-Dade County

Ever seen the inside of a bear? Here’s your chance

Zoo Miami bear receives endoscopic exam

“Hank,” a 6-year-old, 258-pound sloth bear was immobilized last week at Zoo Miami’s Animal Hospital to have a general physical exam along with an endoscopic exam.
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“Hank,” a 6-year-old, 258-pound sloth bear was immobilized last week at Zoo Miami’s Animal Hospital to have a general physical exam along with an endoscopic exam.

When Hank, a more-than-250-pound sloth bear, began vomiting, zookeepers at Zoo Miami thought it best to see what was going on.

But giving a sloth bear an exam — especially an internal one — isn’t simple. First, the bear needs to be immobilized.

So last Tuesday, a team of veterinarians prepped Hank for his annual physical exam and added an endoscopy, a procedure involving a tube inserted through his mouth into his stomach.

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A more than 250-pound sloth bear undergoes an endoscopy and physical exam Nov. 27, 2018 at Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami

Ron Magill, the goodwill ambassador and communications director of Zoo Miami, filmed the procedure, giving people a glimpse of a bear’s visit to the doctor.

“He made it through just fine,” Magill said of Hank, who has been at the zoo since Nov. 30, 2016.

In addition to the endoscopy, Hank also had his weight and general body condition taken, had several X-rays and had his blood collected.

Magill said biopsies came back negative and Hank was in good health and back in his habitat.

“Thank goodness it was nothing,” he said.

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