Alaska Zoo’s ailing polar bear dies

Lyutyik, a polar bear at the Alaska Zoo, died Oct. 13, 2019. (Photo credit John Gomes/Alaska Zoo)

A polar bear at the Alaska Zoo has died.

Zoo officials announced on the zoo website Monday that 19-year-old Lyutyik died Sunday.

The beloved animal was generally referred to as Lyu or Louie. He was part of the zoo since 2006.

Zoo officials last week said the white bear two months ago had become lethargic and was refusing to eat. Caretakers removed him from his usual habitat for monitoring.

After the bear died, an evaluation found revealed a mass around and in one of his kidneys. Zoo officials say the condition often goes undetected in animals that large.

A more comprehensive pathology review is planned.

The polar bear death was first reported by KTUU-television.

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