A wildlife sanctuary in Donegal has announced the death of one of its brown bears, Aurnia.

She passed away after undergoing surgery by a specialist team of vets for two painful and infected canine teeth.

The sanctuary rescues animals abused in circuses, roadside zoos, laboratories and the illegal pet trade.

Killian McLaughlin, who set up Wild Ireland near Burnfoot in Co Donegal, said anaesthetic is particularly risky for large wild animals, but the surgery had been completed when Aurnia suffered complications.

She died despite the best efforts of the team, who tried to resuscitate her.

The five-and-a-half-year-old brown bear had been rescued from Lithuania where she had been held in a concrete cage.

She was brought to Donegal to live in the sanctuary, along with two other rescued bears and a selection of wolves, lynx and other wild animals.

Most of the animals had once been native to Ireland, but became extinct here.

Mr McLaughlin said she had a miserable start in life and the problem with her teeth would have begun when she was caged and tried to chew the bars to get out.

The only consolation is that the past year in Ireland would have been the happiest of her life, he said.