Holt Nashville Zoo


NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Nashville Zoo released a statement Wednesday regarding the death of a four-year-old Andean bear named Holt.

According to the zoo, the bear died early Wednesday morning "after a series of massive seizures."

“We are devastated at the sudden loss of Holt,” said Nashville Zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz. “He was a very charismatic animal and a great ambassador for his species and the Zoo. His absence will have a profound and lasting effect on all of us here at the Zoo.”

The veterinary staff was called to the off-exhibit holding area for the bear at 3 p.m. Tuesday after a keeper witnessed the bear beginning a series of full-body seizures.

Within minutes, the veterinary team arrived to administer anti-seizure medications with no effect. For the next 12 hours, the veterinary team made continual attempts to stop the episode with no improvements, and preliminary diagnostics revealed no answers. At 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nashville Zoo officials said they made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the bear.

“Holt had no history of seizures,” said Dr. Heather Robertson, Nashville Zoo Director of Veterinary Services. “He was considered to be a perfectly healthy bear.” 

The Zoo’s veterinary team will perform a necropsy and histopathology to try and determine the cause of the seizures.

Holt came to Nashville Zoo in May 2016 from Smithsonian’s National Zoo to be a part of Nashville’s newest expansion, Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear which opened in March 2018.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Multimedia Producer

Joey is an award-winning multimedia producer from Augusta, GA and alumnus of the University of South Carolina-Aiken. He's happy to be Working 4 You and telling the stories of middle Tennessee on WSMV.com!

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.