PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A beloved bear at the Philadelphia Zoo has died.

Zoo officials said Ben, a 23-year-old Asiatic black bear, was euthanized Wednesday after being treated for a form of cancer in one of his front paws.

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He underwent surgery earlier this year to remove a tumor from the paw but an October biopsy found it had returned and borrowed deeper into Ben’s foot. Veterinary staffers then made the decision to euthanize him.

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Ben was born at a zoological park in Virginia and arrived in Philadelphia in 2002.

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The zoo’s chief operating officer says Ben will be missed.

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