Polar bear dies at St. Louis Zoo

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 5:31 p.m. CDT; updated 5:38 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Zoo is mourning the death of a longtime resident.

Hope the polar bear was euthanized Monday after exploratory surgery showed signs of advanced liver cancer.

Hope was 23 years old and had been housed at the zoo since 1986. Polar bears typically live 15 to 18 years in the wild, 20 to 22 years in zoos.

The zoo says Hope was a favorite of staff and visitors. She had shown signs of decreased appetite and activity over the past several days.


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Ray Shapiro March 31, 2009 | 8:57 p.m.

There's just no Hope for the St. Louis Zoo.
(All Polar Bears go to heaven.)

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