• Tue. May 30th, 2023

ABQ BioPark polar bear euthanized soon after wellness decline


May 27, 2023

Koluk floats on his back in February 1998 whilst toying with a giant plastic ball in his exhibit at the ABQ BioPark zoo. (Aaron Wilson/Albuquerque Journal)

They say the excellent die young. At times, they develop old initial.

That was the case for Koluk, a 26-year-old polar bear that has named the ABQ BioPark household due to the fact the late 1990s. The City of Albuquerque announced Koluk was euthanized on Friday “after his wellness quickly declined this week.”

BioPark officials stated the selection was created soon after employees found Koluk had serious liver and kidney illness through a current checkup.

Koluk was nevertheless ahead of the curve of his bear-thren as most only reside 20 years in captivity and up to 18 in the wild, according to a release sent out Friday. Koluk’s twin brother and exhibit-mate Kiska is nevertheless in excellent wellness and remains active, but is now the BioPark’s lone polar bear.

Officials stated Kiska “adjusted effectively as a solitary bear” through Koluk’s illness.

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Koluk goes head initial into the pool at the ABQ BioPark zoo on July 15, 2001. (Rose Palmisano/Albuquerque Journal)

The release states Koluk and Kiska had been born in November 1996 at Utah’s Hogle Zoo and moved to the BioPark in October 1997.

“Koluk was one particular of the most playful animals at the BioPark, and he was a favourite amongst guests and employees,” Casey Taylor, ABQ BioPark assistant mammal curator, stated in a released statement. “We are so fortunate to have cared for Koluk, and we are heartbroken with this loss.”

Koluk’s “playful demeanor was constant” even into his old age, when he nevertheless held a “fondness for diving into the pool to catch fish and ice treats,” according to the release. Koluk reportedly created “deep levels of trust” with employees which helped when it came to a variety of exams and “was a essential element of his robust wellness and lengthy life.”

Polar bear brothers Koluk and Kiska unwind in their enclosure at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, which is holding a series of events to celebrate International Polar Bear Day currently. (Supply: ABQ BioPark Zoo)

The release states that Koluk was diagnosed with heart illness in 2019 and place on medication to handle his situation. In current days employees saw “a lack of appetite, sluggishness and stiffness” in the bear.

A complete exam was offered on Might 19 and employees found Koluk was suffering from serious liver and kidney illness, according to the release. Given that then employees gave “supportive care” to Koluk and more testing showed the illness was progression.

BioPark employees then created the selection to euthanize Koluk.

Koluk tries to cool off from the sweltering heat back in July 2001. (Rose Palmisano/Albuquerque Journal)