Grandfather Mountain workers mourn loss of Dakota the Black Bear

Grandfather Mountain workers are mourning the loss of Dakota the Black Bear, who passed away Saturday due to complications following a prolonged battle with cancer.

Dakota came to Grandfather Mountain in April of 1997. She was about 10 weeks old when she arrived and the sweetest little bear, Grandfather Mountain officials wrote on their Facebook page Monday.

As she grew older, her personality changed a bit. Over the years, she has commonly adopted the nickname, “Crazy Bear.”

“Some would say they were very intimidated by her, but we know Dakota just had a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about life. She was always full of energy and would sprint to anywhere there was food. Dakota was very mischievous and impatient, especially when it came time for treats. She was also very independent; being one of our most dominant bears, she was sort of a bully to the others. She was tough and very smart, but often could be quite the goofball. She loved to roll around on scent enrichments, stand up and walk around on her hind feet and belly flop into her pond.

Her personality persisted through all the challenges that faced her with cancer, and she was tough and spunky to the end. We will dearly miss our beautiful, crazy bear, Dakota.”