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Posted: 11/28/2003 3:21:19 AM EDT


tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=5&sid=61035

Polar Bear Dies Due to Zoo Visitor Stupidity

Nov. 27, 2003

Jed Boal Reporting

An important era in the animal world is over at Utah's Hogle Zoo because of the apparent stupidity of a human visitor. The zoo's only polar bear died yesterday, leaving the staff saddened and shocked by the circumstances.

It's not just a loss for the zoo; it's a loss for the community, for the visitors and families that enjoyed the polar bears for years. All because someone tossed a glove into the exhibit.

Polar bears are crowd pleasers. They draw fans and put on a show, especially the cubs. That show is over at Hogle Zoo. 14-year-old Andy died yesterday in his prime.

Stacey Phillips, Utah's Hogle Zoo: “He was such a wonderful and vivacious animal. He used to jump in his pool and play with the zoo toys."

Andy wasn't well Tuesday and did not eat, but the zoo veterinarian did not think they'd find him dead Wednesday. An animal autopsy showed Andy had eaten an adult-sized fleece glove. It lodged in the intestine and ruptured it.

The vet thinks the glove was thrown because that would trigger a natural feeding response from the bear.

"Dr. Nancy Carpenter, Utah's Hogle Zoo Veterinarian: “Things have fallen in his enclosure before, and as long as they're sitting there he doesn't mess with them. So we really think the glove was thrown in."

They also think the glove was a visitor's because it does not match gloves issued to workers.

Myron Levane brings his family to the zoo each Thanksgiving and heads to see the polar bear first.

Myron Levane, Zoo Visitor: “We'll miss him, everybody will miss him. It's been one of the main things; people love to stand and watch him."

Andy's mate, Chinook, died a year ago. Andy sired five of Chinook's 10 cubs since he arrived at the zoo in 1995.

Sadly, people often throw junk into the exhibits as can be seen in the zoo's Museum of human stupidity.

The zoo does not know when it will replace the polar bear; it takes money. But the zoo says polar bears have been an important part of the zoo's past and will be a part of the future.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:23:35 AM EDT
And people are suprised by this? Joe Sixpack brings his slew of squaling youngens to the zoo and the big albino bear better do some trick sto amuse his brood. If not, toss somethign at the bear and laugh at it's antics. I mean, he did pay his admission fee, right? The bear better get on with the show.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:26:00 AM EDT
Indeed, that is sad. Animals are our responsibility and even those used for food deserve a quick and respectful death. The intentional[:(!] mistreatment of any zoo animal is simply criminal and those guilty of it should be punished severely! [devil]
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:28:53 AM EDT
find the person responsible and feed them to the polar bears.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:30:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Karl4sniper: find the person responsible and feed them to the polar bears.
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Uh, the one they had, died. How about the tigers? They are always hungry.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 6:59:37 AM EDT
The late polar bear in the Alaska Zoo, Binky, almost got a couple folks. The first was an aussie tourist who jumped the in-between fences to get a snapshot -between the bars - of a snoozing Binky. The bear jumped up, reached around, and made a grab for the tourist, She got away in the nick of time, without a nick and one red tennis shoe. There is a locally famous pic of Binky in his teeth holding a red shoe by the strings... Tourist: "It was my fault, I did not think a bear could be so fast." Not to be outdone, a LOCAL teenager tried the same thing. Not as lucky as the Aussie, and was scratched up pretty bad.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 7:21:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: The late polar bear in the Alaska Zoo, Binky, almost got a couple folks. The first was an aussie tourist who jumped the in-between fences to get a snapshot -between the bars - of a snoozing Binky. The bear jumped up, reached around, and made a grab for the tourist, She got away in the nick of time, without a nick and one red tennis shoe. There is a locally famous pic of Binky in his teeth holding a red shoe by the strings... Tourist: "It was my fault, I did not think a bear could be so fast." Not to be outdone, a LOCAL teenager tried the same thing. Not as lucky as the Aussie, and was scratched up pretty bad.
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Well at least it provides the bear with some amusement, mauling dumbshits. [:)] A free zoo toy.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 7:29:56 AM EDT
Duh! Everyone knows if your going to give Polar Bears people food, you have to give them a bottle of Coke to wash it down with.
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