Gus, Central Park Zoo’s beloved polar bear, dies at 27

Gus, the Central Park Zoo's beloved polar bear, died on Tuesday at 27-years-old.  Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS
Gus died on Tuesday at age 27.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS

Gus, the Central Park Zoo’s beloved polar bear, died Tuesday at age 27.

Gus was euthanized under anesthesia by Wildlife Conservation Society veterinarians after a large, inoperable tumor was found in his thyroid.

Before the procedure, Gus began exhibiting abnormal feeding behavior, with low appetite and difficulty eating. A necropsy will be conducted to determine the full extent of his condition.

Gus was born in 1985 at the Toledo Zoo before coming to the Central Park Zoo in 1988. The zoo estimates more than 20 million people visited him during his time there.

“Gus was an icon at the Central Park Zoo and a great source of joy for our visitors and staff,” Jim Breheny, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s executive vice president of zoos and aquarium, said in his obituary.

Gus became a national sensation in 1994 for his repetitive swimming patterns. Enrichment programs were designed for Gus, and he often foraged for his own food while in captivity.

Breheny said Gus was an “ambassador” for a species facing life-threatening problems in a changing environment.

“Polar bears are apex predators – the kings of their domain, but vulnerable in a world affected by climate change brought on by human activity,” Breheny said.

The median life expectancy for male polar bears in zoos is about 21 years, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Local

Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

National

U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

NHL

Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.

NHL

Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.

NHL

Flyers need much more from Claude Giroux

The Rangers have successfully shut down Claude Giroux so far, leading the Flyers 2-1 in the best of seven series.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."