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In 2010, a little bear cub was rescued along the side of a Tennessee road and was relocated to Durham’s Museum of Life and Science.  “Yona” became world renowned for lounging with her paws in the air and charming everyone who saw her.  Yona, “the silly black bear,” passed away on Tuesday in her adopted home.

Yona was born in 2009 and weighed four pounds when she was found.  Initially, she went to Appalachian Bear Rescue (a wildlife rehab center).  Once there, she showed interest in human contact.  Uh-oh.  That means survival in the wild would be difficult.  It was then that Durham’s museum stepped to the plate and took Yona in.

I am very partial to bears.  I graduated from Baylor University.  Our bear pits where the mascots are housed is a center piece in the middle of campus.  Many times I would just find myself walking by them only to stop and watch for a while.  They are magnificent creatures.

The museum posted this touching tribute below on Facebook.  “She could be seen most days lounging in the sun, often with all four of her paws in the air.  She was an important part of our museum family. She delighted guests with her antics and was an ambassador for her species. We will miss her dearly.”

Rest in peace sweet Yona.  You will be missed by all who felt better by being in your presence.

12 TikToks of Cute Zoo Animals To Make You Smile

It’s Monday. And if you’re anything like me the week ahead looks daunting. It seems like when life opened up and kicked back into gear it’s going faster than it was before. But even though I’m stressed, it’s always good to make time for some self-care. And you should too. So here’s a quick way to brighten up your day. Enjoy these 12 TikToks of cute zoo animals guaranteed to make you smile.