Koluk, the ABQ BioPark polar bear, passed away at the age of 26

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — ABQ BioPark is mourning the death of their beloved polar bear Koluk, who recently passed away at the age of 26.

Koluk’s health reportedly declined rapidly last week. Then the Biopark officials chose to admit him on Friday.

Last week, authorities reported that Koluk was sluggish, stiff and had no appetite. In an examination last Friday, veterinarians confirmed that he had severe liver and kidney disease.

Animal care staff provided support services to Koluk this week. However, the disease progressed to the point where the veterinarians euthanized him.

Koluk, 26, lived a long life for a polar bear. The average lifespan for a bear like him is about 21 years.

Biopark remembers him as a gentle giant who, even in his old age, retained his love of diving into the pool to catch fish and dive. He also develops trust with the animal care team and often voluntarily participates in health checks.

“Koluk was one of the most playful animals at the biopark, and was beloved by guests and staff alike. We are very fortunate to have cared for Koluk, and we are heartbroken by his loss,” said ABQ BioPark Assistant Mammal Keeper Casey Taylor.

Koluk’s twin brother, Kiska, is in good health and still active at the residence. The care team gave him extra attention, and Koluk said he made good adjustments to himself while he was sick.

Koluk and Kiska were born in November 1996 at the Hoogle Zoo in Utah. They moved to Biopark in October 1997.

Biopark has released a video about the life of Koluk and Kiska together here.


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