ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The ABQ BioPark reports that the zoo’s 26-year-old polar bear Koluk has passed away. According to a release, Koluk was humanely euthanized on May 26 after his health was rapidly declining.

Koluk was diagnosed with heart disease in 2019 and was taking daily medication. The ABQ BioPark reports that in recent days, the animal care staff observed a lack of appetite, sluggishness, and stiffness.

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A full exam was performed on May 19. During that procedure, staff discovered severe liver and kidney disease. The animal care staff provided care for Koluk that past week, but ultimately decided to humanely euthanize him on May 26.

“Koluk was one of the most playful animals at the BioPark, and he was a favorite among guests and staff,” said Casey Taylor, ABQ BioPark assistant mammal curator in a news release. “We are so fortunate to have cared for Koluk, and we are heartbroken with this loss.”

Koluk and his twin brother Kiska were born in November 1996 in Utah’s Hogle Zoo. The duo has lived at the ABQ BioPark since October 1997.

ABQ BioPark also reports Kiska is in good health.

The median life expectancy for a polar bear is 20.8 years in human care and 15-18 years in the wild.