Dec 10, 2018 | Updated: 09:37 PM EST

Columbus Zoo Euthanized 29-Year-Old Polar Bear, Nanuq Due To Liver Cancer

Apr 30, 2017 11:24 PM EDT


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio was reported to euthanize its 29-year-old polar bear. The polar bear named Nanuq was discovered to have liver cancer with a few treatment options left.

According to People, Nanuq (NAN'-nook) was rescued as an orphaned, considered a geriatric cub in Alaska in 1988. Nanuq was then moved at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Wisconsin. But later on, he was moved again, this time to Buffalo in 2009 and to Columbus in 2012 where he was already 25 years old.

Nanuq was seen to have symptoms of liver cancer when a medical exam was done by Powell, the Columbus zoo veterinary clinic. When ultrasound was conducted on the polar bear, it was found out that he has hepatobiliary carcinoma, which is described to be lethal even in humans. Amid showing some improvements, Nanuq’s symptom was said to return recently.

With that said, the treatment options left for Nanuq’s liver cancer was identified to have high risks and was also considered to be not entirely effective as the veterinary clinic described it to be. The Columbus zoo then resolved that putting the polar bear to sleep would be the best solution, Mail Online reported.

“From the time that he was rescued as an orphaned cub, he has been an ambassador to his counterparts in the Arctic, reminding us of the importance of protecting polar bears and their sea ice,” Columbus Zoo and Aquarium president and CEO Tom Stalf stated. He then added that losing an animal is hard for them especially a beloved bear like Nanuq.

Furthermore, the zoo shared some details about the beloved deceased bear. Nanuq was mentioned to have surpassed the average lifespan of a polar bear living at a North American zoo which is only eight years. Nanuq was also shared to have fathered five cubs including twin female polar bears cubs, Aurora and Anana, last November. The other two were identified to be named Nora and Luna.

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