Archie, a 41-year-old black bear, has been euthanized in Ohio.
Andrew Davis/Medina Gazette—AP
By Melissa Chan
December 20, 2015

One of the oldest known black bears living in captivity has been euthanized — but not before savoring a cream-filled doughnut and tapioca pudding as his last meal.

Archie, a 41-year-old bear who had lived in Ohio with his owners Jeffrey and Debra Gillium for most of his life, was put down Friday amid a legal battle with the state and his caretakers, the Medina Gazette reported. The Gilliums had noticed his deteriorating health months ago.

“It was a hard thing to do,” Debbie Gillium told the newspaper. “We’ve both been upset the whole week. I hardly got any sleep last night.”

Archie devoured a big breakfast of dog food, a doughnut and tapioca pudding before he was euthanized by a veterinarian. “He usually doesn’t get stuff like that, but today was a special day and he loves his sweets,” Debra Gillium said. “He licked the tapioca off my fingers.”

The Gillums had been fighting the Ohio Department of Agriculture for a year over whether they could keep Archie despite failing to get a permit when the state issued new rules for keeping dangerous animals. They had been caring for the bear since 1981, according to the Gazette.

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