1 of America's oldest polar bears dies after outliving average life expectancy by 10 years
The second oldest male polar bear in the United States has died after outliving the species' median life expectancy by more than 10 years.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens announced in a statement Saturday that the 31-year-old polar bear - known as "Little One" - was euthanized after a kidney failure that led to a rapid decline in his health and quality of life.
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"He was a geriatric bear with chronic illnesses that were treated by his animal care and veterinary teams," the Cincinnati Zoo said in its statement. "Little One's longevity is due to the excellent care it received. The bear team provided daily enrichment, a nutritious diet specially formulated for a geriatric bear, and a comfortable environment both inside and out."
Little One was born at Cleveland Zoo on December 13, 1989 to parents Snowball and Nauyat, but moved to the Cincinnati Zoo in 2007, where he was loved by animal keepers and visitors alike.
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PHOTO: The Cincinnati Zoo announced in a statement on Saturday March 27, 2021 that the 31-year-old polar bear known as "Little One" was euthanized after a kidney failure that led to a rapid decline in his quality of life . (Cincinnati Zoo / Kathy Newton)
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"In my more than 30-year career, I have had the privilege of caring for 17 polar bears in two zoos. All of them were amazing animals to look after," said Lisa Vollmer, bear and bear director at the Cincinnati Zoo It's always hard to take, and it was especially hard with Little One. He was one of the loosest bears I've ever worked with and had a great disposition. His death leaves a huge hole in the hearts of all of us who are around him Have taken care. Rest in peace, little one. We love you and you will be missed. "
According to the Cincinnati Zoo, Little One was compared to several females while she was alive, but was never conceived, even though the median life expectancy of an average male polar bear of 21 years was exceeded by more than 10 years.
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“He was such a big bear. Very cool. The cutest thing about him was how he did those leisurely armpit scratches, ”said Lisa Potter, bear keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The latest report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that only about 26,000 polar bears remain in the wild, according to Cincinnati Zoo officials, and lists the animal as an "endangered species," citing the loss of Arctic sea ice for climate change as its greatest threat. "
1 of America's oldest polar bears dies after the average life expectancy has survived by 10 years. This was originally published on abcnews.go.com
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