Africa’s last polar bear dies

JoburgParksZoo /

Wang the polar bear

In Johannesburg Zoo the last remaining polar bear in Africa has been put down after several months of mourning since losing his best friend of 28 years. Wang and GeeBee had been major attractions for over 28 years after moving from their respective zoos in Japan and Canada.

GeeBee suffered a heart attack in January and sadly Wang had never recovered from the loss. Polar bears are known to be solitary animals which made their relationship even more important.

Wang had to be put down for health reasons as well as his emotional hurt; he had arthritis and liver failure due to his old age. On average a polar bear will live around 20 years.

Wang was not the same according to the zoo keepers; he did not accept food and would not enter the water to swim which used to be a favourite activity alongside GeeBee. The zoo had offered special foods and treats and on Valentine’s Day prepared a special mix of his favourite items.

He had become accustomed to the warm climate and therefore was not able to return to cold conditions with the fear that his health would suffer dramatically. Sadly the Johannesburg Zoo will no longer contain the white furred bears any longer.    

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