Remembering Inuka: the polar bear we all loved at the Singapore Zoo

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April 25, 2018

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    The Singapore Zoo bade a sad farewell to polar bear Inuka on the morning of April 25, 2018

     

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    The 27-year-old was put down this morning on ‘humane and welfare grounds’.

    Related: How to talk to your child about death: 6 steps to comfort and support him

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    Inuka was known as the world’s first polar bear born in the tropics, on December 27, 1990.

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    The health of the Zoo’s golden resident had declined markedly in the past three months.

     

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    The zoo vets and his care team agreed to not revive him from anesthesia on humane and welfare grounds following a second health examination on April 25.

     

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    At 27 years, Inuka was akin to a human being in his 70s, and had outlived the lifespan of wild male polar bears by more than a decade. In the wild, male polar bears typically live between 15-18 years, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which operates the zoo.

     

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    Its upkeep since birth has been supported by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over the adoption from 2007.

    Related:  7 animal causes in Singapore you can volunteer with your children

     

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    Inuka was born at the zoo, which described him as their “most prominent senior resident”.

     

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    His mother, Sheba, arrived from Germany when it was 14 months old, while father Nanook came from Canada.

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    He had been popular with visitors due to his playful antics in his pool enclosure.

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    The name Inuka is Inuit for “Silent Stalker”. It was chosen through a nationwide naming contest, which received over 10,000 entries.

    Inuka was nicknamed “the sunbear” for how much he loved lazing and basking in the sun.

     

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    Inuka’s current enclosure costs $8 million. Its home, with much-needed space, is about the size of 2½ basketball courts and includes a large pool, waterfall and an ice cave.

    Originally found in the Arctic, polar bears in the wild have been known to cover miles on foot, even running on land.

    Researchers have even tracked wild females swimming long distances, covering up to 354km in 10 days. Inuka would have to make more than 2,000 rounds of its enclosure to cover that distance.

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The Singapore Zoo bade a sad farewell to polar bear Inuka on the morning of April 25, 2018   The 27-year-old was put down this morning on ‘humane and welfare grounds’. Related: How to talk to your child about death: 6 steps to comfort and support him Inuka was known as the world’s first polar bear born in the tropics, on December 27, 1990. The health of the Zoo’s golden resident had declined markedly in the past three months.   The zoo vets and his care team agreed to not revive him from anesthesia on humane and welfare grounds following a second health examination on April 25.   At 27 years, Inuka was akin to a human being in his 70s, and had outlived the lifespan of wild male polar bears by more than a decade. In the wild, male polar bears typically live between 15-18 years, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which operates the zoo.   Its upkeep since birth has been supported by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over the adoption from 2007. Related:  7 animal causes in Singapore you can volunteer with your children   Inuka was born at the zoo, which described him as their “most prominent senior resident”.   His mother, Sheba, arrived from Germany when it was 14 months old, while father Nanook came from Canada. He had been popular with visitors due to his playful antics in his pool enclosure. The name Inuka is Inuit for “Silent Stalker”. It was chosen through a nationwide naming contest, which received over 10,000 entries. Inuka was nicknamed “the sunbear” for how much he loved lazing and basking in the sun.   Inuka’s current enclosure costs $8 million. Its home, with much-needed space, is about the size of 2½ basketball courts and includes a large pool, waterfall and an ice cave. Originally found in the Arctic, polar bears in the wild have been known to cover miles on foot, even running on land. Researchers have even tracked wild females swimming long distances, covering up to 354km in 10 days. Inuka would have to make more than 2,000 rounds of its enclosure to cover that distance.

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