It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of one of Wildlife Images’ longest residents: Kodi the Alaskan Brown Bear. Kodi was over 30 years old, outliving his wild counterparts by 5-10 years. He passed peacefully under the care of a team of Veterinarians due to congestive heart failure on his right side as well as liver cancer. We are so grateful for all the extra time we got to spend with him. A wonderful ambassador for his species, he entertained and educated the public whether we were watching him smash a giant pumpkin or delicately picking up a berry while drooling all over the place. Kodi was greatly loved by all and will never be forgotten by the people, his adoring fans, or by those who cared for him for his whole life.
Kodi and his twin sister Yak entertained and helped educate the public for more than 25 years at Wildlife Images.
This brother-sister duo came to Wildlife Images as cubs in September 1992. A local fisherman spotted them along the shoreline in Alaska, and wildlife biologists determined a territorial male killed their mother and feared he might attack the cubs as well. The pair were transferred to Wildlife Images with the hope of returning them to the wild. Unfortunately, that never happened as the state of Alaska denied the request, making them permanent residents and Animal Ambassadors at Wildlife Images in 1996.
Kodi loved food and enjoyed occasional treats, including watermelon and whole salmon. During the summer, he loved cooling off in his pool and scratching his back on trees.
In memory of Kodi, we are planning a memorial near his enclosure. We will announce formal plans in the coming days.
SHARE YOUR MEMORIES AND PHOTOS OF KODI ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
“Kodi and I had a very trusting relationship, and every time I saw him I would think of my father and that special spark Kodi brought to my father’s eyes. I realize now that I, too, have a special place in my heart for grizzly bears thanks to the nearly 30 years I was lucky enough to spend with a very special bear.”
— Dave Siddon, Executive Director
“Kodi was an amazing ambassador for his species who was well-loved by the staff and volunteers that cared for him and the guests that came to visit him. I will always remember how much this big boy loved food. He was always a joy to watch with his food enrichment and was known for smashing straight through giant pumpkins and watermelons to get a tasty treat. Thank you for the memories, sweet bear, you are very missed.”
— Jen, Curator of Animal Services
“It has been a humbling experience to be Kodi’s trainer for the past two years. Not only was he a magnificent creature to work with but also a charming ambassador, adored by many. My heart goes out to all that have cared for him the past 30 years.”
— Shannon, Wildlife Images Keeper
“Being able to educate people about the importance of brown bears while looking into the eyes of a Brown Bear like Kodi, didn’t just help change the lives of the people I educated, but changed my own heart as well. I will never forget his curious nature and willingness to learn. I strive to be just like him, always curious and always in search of a snack.”
— Kaitlyn, Interpretive Coordinator
“Kodi was beloved by many, and I was blessed to have known him for 5-plus years. He was an incredible creature that touched the hearts of many. I would like to think he inspired multiple generations towards wildlife conservation. “
— Kaylie, Wildlife Images Keeper
BOOK A VISIT
To make a gift in Kodi’s honor use the donation allocation “Ambassador Memorial Fund.” All donations will go to ensure the Animal Ambassadors at Wildlife Images have the best quality of life and continue to inspire children and adults alike. We will also announce a Kodi-specific memorial in the coming days .