Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Zoo is mourning the loss of a beloved polar bear named Berlin. According to the zoo, the 33-year-old bear was euthanized Wednesday; she was the oldest living bear in captivity in the United States and had just celebrated her birthday in December.
In a release, the zoo explained why the decision was made to humanely euthanize Berlin:
Berlin had been experiencing hypertension and renal failure, and treatment options had been exhausted so the difficult decision to euthanize her was made yesterday morning.
Berlin was born in 1989 at the Cincinnati Zoo, shortly after the Berlin Wall fell; she was given her name because of the momentous event. Berlin spent a decade at the Kansas City Zoo, and she because a “beloved ambassador” for her species.
The zoo stated:
Her animal care specialists commended her big personality and described her as “smart and sassy” and say she gave all of her caregivers “a run for their money!” Berlin will be dearly missed by her Zoo family, including staff, volunteers, and guests.
The Kansas City Zoo intends to honor Berlin’s memory with its annual contribution from its Conservation Fund to Polar Bears International; funds aid in conserving polar bears and their habitat in the wild.
Rest in peace Berlin.