Monday, 2 September 2013

Central Park Zoo’s last remaining polar bear, Gus, dead at age 27

He’s gone to that giant iceberg in the sky.

The Central Park Zoo’s last remaining polar bear, Gus, died at the age of 27, the zoo announced yesterday.

Gus, once nicknamed the “bipolar bear” after he was diagnosed with depression, spent 25 years entertaining New York’s children and animal lovers.

“Gus was an icon at the Central Park Zoo and a great source of joy for our visitors and staff,” said Jim Breheny, a vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo.

“He was an important ambassador for his species, bringing attention to the problems these bears face in the wild due to a changing environment,” he said.

The bear had recently fallen ill, losing his appetite and having trouble swallowing his food.

Veterinarians checked Gus out Monday and found a large, inoperable tumor near his thyroid.

He was euthanized while still under anesthesia, zoo officials said.

Gus came to the Central Park Zoo as a cub from the Toledo Zoo in 1988 and wowed zoo-goers for more than two decades.

Visitors yesterday were heartbroken by the news.

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