ROYAL OAK (WWJ) — Officials at the Detroit Zoo say that one of the facility’s polar bears died on Monday.
Tundra, a 29-year-old female bear, became ill on Sunday, according to the zoo’s Facebook page. Staff made the decision to euthanize Tundra after her condition declined dramatically into Monday morning.
Initial examination didn’t reveal the cause of the illness. Scott Carter, Chief Life Sciences Officer at the Detroit Zoo, said Tundra was just transferred to Detroit in June due to renovations at her home zoo in Indianapolis.
“She was given a full exam before she left Indianapolis,” Carter said. “Considering her age, she was in good health. So we all felt that this is a move that would be good for her, but of course none of us can predict the future, so we knew that at her age — even though she was in good health — we knew that there was a risk.”
She was one of the oldest polar bears in captivity. Most wild polar bears live between 15 and 18 years, while captive bears live between 21 and 24 years, according to the zoo.
“We are happy we were able to provide Tundra with a great home for the short period of time she was with us,” zoo staff said in a Facebook post. “She was a favorite of Detroit Zoo visitors who loved watching her enjoy the 300,000-gallon pool at the Arctic Ring of Life. Our hearts go out to the animal care staff and visitors – both in Detroit and Indianapolis – who knew and loved her.”