Elderly polar bear euthanized at Point Defiance zoo

TACOMA — Officials at Point Defiance zoo say an elderly polar bear has been euthanized after suffering sudden major paralysis of his right side.

Zoo veterinarian Dr. Holly Reed said 27-year-old Kenneth first began showing mobility problems on Monday. He was euthanized Wednesday. Reed said his worsening condition left him unable to walk or stand.

The oldest of the zoo’s four polar bears, Kenneth had lived at the zoo since 2002.

Zoo records show he was born in the wild in Canada. Reed said he was approaching the upper longevity for polar bears living in zoos. The animals rarely live to age 20 in the wild.

Kenneth and another of the zoo’s polar bears, Boris, came to Point Defiance after federal officials seized them from a traveling Mexican circus in Puerto Rico. They were in extremely poor health and living in cramped conditions.

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