Mitsos, the oldest ward of the Arcturos society for the protection of the brown bear, has died, the organization announced on Wednesday.
Once a so-called dancing bear in the Peloponnesian town of Tripoli, Mitsos was seized in 1992 when he was about 3 years old and was the first bear to be inducted into Arcturos’s protection program in Florina, northern Greece.
He spent a year before that at a zoo, where he made several attempts at freedom, earning the nickname “the great escapist.”
The impressive, 250-kilogram bear died of natural causes at the ripe age of 29. The average life expectancy of male brown bears is 20 years.