The first polar bear to be born in the tropics died on April 25 following years of age-related ailments.
The 27-year-old bear, named Inuka – which means Silent Stalker in Inuktitut – suffered from arthritis, dental issues, ear infections, among other things, according to the Singapore Zoo.
“Medical examination revealed that the open wounds on his paws and abdomen had not significantly improved despite additional treatment … these wounds, which were quite deep, would have caused pain and discomfort to Inuka, and would only be aggravated as his arthritis worsened,” read a statement by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). “It was clear that Inuka’s health and welfare state was compromised and the responsible course of action was not to prolong Inuka’s suffering.”
Zoo officials said Inuka was put under anaesthesia on “humane grounds” and not revived.
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According to ABC News, Inuka surpassed the average life expectancy for a polar bear, which is 15 to 18 years in the wild, and 25 years in captivity.
Even though Inuka was 27 years old – born on Dec. 26, 1990 – he was the equivalent of 70 in human years.
Channel News Asia wrote that a private memorial for Inuka was held on April 26. As well, an autopsy will be done on the polar bear to “fully understand Inuka’s condition.”
Body parts of the bear may be preserved for educational reasons.
The zoo said it will not be bringing any more polar bears to its facility, making Inuka the country’s last polar bear.