Photo by John Gomes
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Zoo’s female polar bear Ahpun passed away on Dec. 31, 2017.
Originally arriving at the Alaska Zoo in March 1998 as a 31-pound cub after she was orphaned outside of Point Lay, Alaska, Ahpun lived to be 20 years old and grew to just over 700 pounds. The average lifespan for a polar bear in the wild is 15 to 18 years.
A necropsy was performed, and no signs of illness were discovered. Further, more detailed tests are being conducted.
Ahpun will be sorely missed by the entire Alaska Zoo family, including its staff and the many visitors who delighted in visiting her over the past two decades.
Rather than holding its annual polar bear birthday party on Jan. 20, 2018, the Alaska Zoo is planning a memorial for Ahpun. Details are forthcoming.
Nikkie Viotto, Thompson & Co. PR