Wanda and Winky were aging and arthritic when endured their final harsh Michigan winter. In April 2005, they were moved to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in San Andreas. For the past decade, they've enjoyed creature comforts that includes natural terrain, the California sunshine, lakes, and large living quarters equipped with heated stalls and therapeutic Jacuzzis.
The improved conditions extended their life but both still suffered from chronic foot problems and severe arthritis. In 2008, Winky died from arthritis complications at the age of 56. In the past few days and weeks, Wanda took a turn for the worse and the decision was made to end her life humanely, the Detroit Zoo said.
She was 57.
"We knew this day was coming, but we are all sad," said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan. "We can never thank the staff at PAWS enough for giving these two lovely beings such excellent care and many great years."
Wanda and Winky were at the zoo for about ten years before they were relocated. The arthritis and foot problems was attributed to the fact that they spent years in captivity.