Farewell to the first and last “Tropical Polar Bear”
Common sense would never tell you that polar bears could be born in South East Asia. Despite that, Inuka, became the first tropical born polar bear in the world. He was the most playful and popular bear amongst the visitors.
Born in the Singapore Zoo on 26 December 1990, Inuka lived in the climate controlled Frozen Tundra enclosure for 27 years. Despite criticism from animal right activists around the world concerning polar bears living well out of their natural habitat, Inuka had actually outlived the average life span of polar bears. The typical lifespan of polar bears living in the wild range from 15 – 18 years, whilst those living under close human care live for around 25 years.
This doesn’t mean that polar bears should be brought to the tropics though. After long debates by animal activists as well as the shocking announcement in 2005 that polar bears have been reclassified from “least concern” to a “vulnerable” species, in 2006 the Singapore Zoo announced that Inuka will be the last polar bear in the zoo.
The decision to put down Inuka this morning (Wednesday 25th April) was due to his increasing age related ailments in recent years. Despite the increase care and intensive treatments, it was hard to accept that Inuka was not going to get better.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the Singapore Zoo for this upsetting loss. RIP Inuka.