ASHEBORO — After the death of a 31-year-old grizzly named Tommo in July, the N.C. Zoo’s grizzly bear habitat has sat empty awaiting a new resident. That time is over as the zoo welcomed 740-lb Ronan to the zoo this week. The 9-year-old grizzly is being relocated from Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, based on a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Ronan and his twin sister Finley were rescued in 2013 and relocated to the Reid Park Zoo when they were just barely one year old. That decision was made after wildlife officials in Yellowstone deemed their mother a “nuisance” bear. Since arriving at the Reid Park Zoo, Ronan and Finley have shared a habitat. But like their counterparts in the wild, grizzlies need to live separately as they get older because they are solitary animals.