R.I.P. ‘Mitsos’: The Oldest Bear in Greece Dies of Old Age

The oldest bear in Greece has died in the wildlife refuge of the Greek environmental organization Arcturos in northern Greece.

The organization announced that ‘Mitsos’, died of natural causes at the age of 29. Bears in the wild rarely live longer than 20 years.

Mitsos was one of the first bears to have joined the veterinary station of the organization and later the shelter, which keeps endangered wild animals such as bears and wolves in a natural environment.

The bear was seized from his owners in Tripoli, Peloponnese, in 1992 following complaints that he was exploited for profit as he was used as a ‘dancer’ entertaining village crowds.

He was transferred to a zoo of Florina, where because of his continuous attempts to escape, was given the nickname “Runaway”.

In 1993 he was transferred to Arcturos where he initially underwent dental treatment; due to teeth problems that were caused by bad diet, and the inappropriate conditions of captivity.

Mitsos, weighing 250 kg, was a gentle giant, says Arcturos in a press release. There were no problems in his co-existence with other bears, the organization notes.

There are 14 bears living currently in the refuge.