Sad news this morning from Singapore as World Animal News learns that Inuka, the world’s first polar bear born in the tropics, was euthanized this morning.
“With a heavy heart, we bade farewell to our beloved senior polar bear Inuka this morning,” Wildlife Reserves Singapore(WRS) posted the sad news on its Facebook page. “Despite the best efforts of his care team, Inuka’s condition worsened and the difficult but necessary decision not to revive him from anesthesia was made on humane grounds.”
Earlier this month, WRS, which runs the Singapore Zoo where Inuka was born, lived, and died, first shared news of the beloved senior polar bear’s declining health following a health examination.
“While his arthritis, dental issues, and occasional ear infections are already being managed, Inuka now exhibits a stiffer gait, particularly noticeable in his hind limbs. This abnormal shuffling gait has resulted in abrasions on his paw pads. Additionally, age-related general muscle atrophy is clearly evident,” the organization noted in a statement on its website. “His veterinary care team has given a guarded prognosis and are monitoring Inuka on a daily basis. His keepers are closely monitoring his welfare, and his quality of life assessment is under constant review.”
At 27-years-old, Inuka had surpassed the average lifespan of polar bears, which typically live 15 to 18 years in the wild and 25 years under human care.
Among his many distinctions, Inuka will also be Singapore’s last polar bear.
The zoo’s 2006 decision not to bring any more polar bears to Singapore was made following discussions with its Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee.
Plans for the zoo to perform a full autopsy on Inuka were explained this morning during a press conference. It was also revealed by WRS that it may preserve parts of the beloved polar bear for educational purposes.
The zoo was also home to Inuka’s father, Nanook, who died in 1995 at the age of 18, and his mother, Sheba, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 35.
WAN echoes the sentiment expressed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore which said: “Farewell Inuka, you will always live in our memories.”
R.I.P. Sweet Inuka!