Saturday, 21 July 2012

Polar bear that thrived at Detroit Zoo after rescue from circus dies

A 27-year-old female polar bear that thrived at the Detroit Zoo after being rescued from a circus 10 years ago was euthanized today after she was found to be suffering from terminal cancer, zoo officials said.

Bärle (pronounced BEAR-la) was found to have extensive tumors in her abdominal cavity during a physical examination, a zoo press release said.

“We are very saddened by this loss,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society Chief Life Sciences Officer. “Since her rescue a decade ago, Bärle has been a favorite of our staff and visitors,” Carter said in the release.

Zookeepers reported changes in Bärle’s behavior over the past five days, including a drop in appetite. Although she was given favorite foods of cooked sweet potatoes and chicken, she did not respond. During a veterinary exam this morning to assess her condition, multiple tumors were discovered and the decision was made to humanely end her life, the release said.

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