Polar bear at NC Zoo dies
Posted November 17, 2014
Patches, a 26-year-old female that arrived a year ago from the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania, died Sunday after weeks of declining health, zoo officials said.
A necropsy revealed that Patches had an extensive lung mass suggestive of lung cancer. In recent weeks she had become lethargic and uninterested in food, according to Ken Reininger, the zoo’s general curator, and Dr. J.B. Minter, the zoo’s senior veterinarian.
“In the wild, the average life span of a polar bear is 15 to 18 years old,” Dr. David Jones, director of the zoo, said in a statement. “Patches was 26 years old. She exceeded wildlife expectations by living a long life. She will be greatly missed by the zoo’s staff and visitors.”
Last September, Aquila, a 21-year-old male, was found dead at the N.C. Zoo after suffering a hernia that led to a stomach rupture and its lungs collapsing.
Anana, a 15-year-old female polar bear, arrived at the zoo last month from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She will remain in Asheboro until construction on Lincoln Park Zoo’s polar bear exhibit is completed in 2016.
The N.C. Zoo is finishing an $8 million expansion of its own polar bear exhibit.