[QODLink]
Africa

Africa's last polar bear dies

Wang, believed to be last polar bear on the continent, put down in South African zoo due to liver and heart failure.

Last updated: 13 Aug 2014 18:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Wang was mourning the loss of long-time mate GeeBee, since she died in January [Reuters]

A polar bear believed to be the last in Africa has died at a South African zoo, a few months after his long-time mate passed away.

"Africa's last polar bear Wang had to be put down due to liver and heart failure," Johannesburg Zoo said in a statement on Wednesday.

The bear, said to be 28-years-old, came to Johannesburg in 1986, as part of a conservation exchange program with a zoo in Japan.

In 2010, Wang was diagnosed with liver ailments.

Jenny Moodley, spokesperson at the Johannesburg Zoo, told Al Jazeera that it was decided that the zoo would not replace Wang because of the climatic considerations. Polar bears are more suited to colder climates whereas Johannesburg's temperatures often reach in excess of 30 degrees Celsius.

"It was a decision taken in consideration of the climate. Polar bears adapt, but we are now looking to focus on the protection of indigenous animals.

"Wang was one of the highlights at the zoo. His condition over the past few days forced us to take the decision," Moodley said. 

Wang in the recent months was pining the loss of his partner of 27 years GeeBee, the zoo said.

GeeBee died of natural causes on January 12.

"In the recent weeks, his days were filled with enrichment programmes and special treats, including his own Valentine's Day celebration," the zoo said.

225

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.