Seneca Park Zoo polar bear dies from severe liver disease

Aurora was 28-years-old. (WHAM photo)

The Seneca Park Zoo is celebrating the life of its 28-year-old polar bear, Aurora, who died earlier this week.

Aurora was born at Utah’s Hogle Zoo in 1989 and arrived at Seneca Park Zoo in 1991.

“The loss of such a beloved animal is difficult for the entire Zoo family,” said Zoo Director Larry Sorel. “Aurora captured the hearts of staff and guests alike. She will be deeply missed.”

The Zoo says its Director of Animal Health and Conservation performed a necropsy, which revealed Aurora had a deteriorating liver and a compromised gall bladder. A definitive result will not be available until further tests are completed.

“Aurora's blood work indicated she had severe liver disease, and her condition deteriorated rapidly necessitating humane euthanasia," said Dr. Louis DiVincenti.

Female polar bears have a median life expectancy of about 24 years in human care.

During her time at the Zoo, Aurora gave birth to four offspring: three females, Anoki, Sila, and Haley, and one male, Qilak.

Anoki currently resides at the Maryland Zoo, Sila is at North Carolina Zoo, Haley is at Memphis Zoo, and Qilak is at Denver Zoo.

The Seneca Park Zoo says it will work with the AZA Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) to bring more polar bears to the zoo in the future.

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