The Assiniboine Parks Zoo announces the loss of one of their polar bears, Aurora, who had been living in the zoo since 2013.
In a media release, Assiniboine Park Conservancy announced that Aurora had passed away yesterday during a dental procedure. The nine-year-old bear had recurring dental issues since she was rescued and transferred to the zoo when she was just a cub. Aurora was brought to Winnipeg when she was found alone near the Churchill Airport and her mother could not be found after a search was conducted.
According to data in the release, Aurora would not have survived alone in the wild at such a young age. She was brought to the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre to give her a second chance at life.
"It is believed her teeth were damaged from eating rocks and sticks in her attempt to survive without the care and protection of her mother."
During Aurora's stay at the zoo, she was getting the care she needed to alleviate the pain, treat infections, and prevent large health problems from arising from her dental issues.
"The procedure went well, but as the team was preparing to reverse the anesthesia, Aurora went into cardiac arrest. Veterinary staff and animal care professionals did absolutely everything they could to save her, but sadly she passed away."
"Everyone at the Zoo is deeply saddened by this sudden loss," says Grant Furniss, the Senior Director of Zoological Operations at Assiniboine Park Zoo. "Aurora was a beautiful polar bear and a wonderful ambassador for her species. She was loved by the team who cared for her every day and will be tremendously missed."