Friday, August 1, 2008

Oldest Polar Bear Dying

Meet Debby, the world's oldest living polar bear, currently a resident of Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo. She is 41 years and 8 months old, which more than doubles the expected life span for most polar bears that live in the wild.

"We like to boast that we're the polar bear capital of the world, with all of the polar bears up at Churchill and along the coast," zoo curator Bob Wrigley said.

She spent years living in her enclosure with her former mate Skipper, who died six years ago. Zoo keepers claim that they would huddle together outside through the night, even in -40 C. temperatures. In the morning, they would wake up completely covered in snow drifts, Wrigley said. Their long relationship was unusual for the usually solitary animals. Although options aren't too extensive when living in a zoo.

Unfortunately for Debby, her old age is catching up, and reports have been made that she is dying from age-related medical complications. She has suffered several strokes and is losing weight. Her "prognosis of recovery from age-related medical problems is not good," the zoo said in a release. Get better Debby!

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