Stage Defiance Zoo euthanizes Blizzard, beloved polar bear

Blizzard, the 26-yr-aged polar bear who had been at Position Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma considering the fact that he was orphaned as a cub, was euthanized Sunday simply because of a rapidly expanding cancerous tumor.

Blizzard was identified with liver most cancers in September 2021 and had chemotherapy and other remedies, according to the zoo, but his quality of life immediately deteriorated over the past week.

The tumor experienced grown to the dimension of a watermelon, the zoo explained.

“The whole Place Defiance Zoo household is devastated by the decline of this remarkable bear,” claimed Director Alan Varsik in a post on the zoo’s web-site. “Blizzard held a specific area in our hearts and touched the life of millions of persons throughout the two many years he was with us. He encouraged people to care deeply about polar bears and to acquire motion in their individual life to reduce their carbon footprint and aid guard wild polar bears.”

Blizzard was rescued as an orphaned cub in Churchill, Canada, before coming to the zoo in 1997. He experienced been divided from his mom on the Arctic tundra and experienced no possibility of survival there, the zoo stated.

At 26, he had lived earlier the median daily life expectancy of 23 several years for polar bears in human treatment, according to statistics from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Assistant Curator Sheriden Ploof, who was one of his major caregivers, mentioned in the zoo’s article that Blizzard had been skilled to voluntarily take part in his possess health-related care, mastering to put a paw via a specially developed sleeve in his bed room so veterinary team could obtain the blood samples that have been critical to checking his health and fitness.

Blizzard also performed a critical function in aiding scientists find out more about his species. In early 2019, tiny patches of his fur were being dyed black so University of Washington researchers could examine the fee of polar bear hair advancement to examine pressure ranges, contaminant exposure and dietary demands in wild polar bears.

More not too long ago, he was one particular of a handful of bears to take part in “Burr on Fur,” a countrywide examine of prototype know-how to assistance researchers monitor and analyze movement styles of polar bears in the wild.

“Blizzard was feisty, sensible and constantly keen to understand new matters,” Ploof mentioned. “He cherished pouncing, playing with his large barrels, splashing in his pool, and training his stalking and searching abilities. He was an excellent animal who will be deeply skipped by every person who realized him.”