Polar bear passes away at Kansas City Zoo

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The Kansas City Zoo said one of its beloved polar bears, Bam Bam, passed away Tuesday night.

“Although Bam Bam was an older bear, her overall health had been good until very recently,” Sarah Gay, a spokesperson with the Kansas City Zoo, said.

“This week, however, preliminary tests showed that her liver was failing. When further tests determined that she had developed untreatable liver cancer, the difficult decision was made to euthanize her.”

Bam Bam was 31 years old and was a relatively new addition to the zoo. She came to Kansas City last spring from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, where she was born in November 1987. She joined Berlin, a 29-year-old female, in Polar Bear Passage. In the wild, polar bears live an average 15 to 18 years.

“Bam Bam loved peanut butter and also had a fondness for celery,” Gay said.

“She greatly enjoyed her habitat at the Kansas City Zoo. As her zookeepers cleaned the outdoor area each morning, she would let them know when they were taking too long, as she was always anxious to explore when they finished each day. She loved to swim in the pool and play with her orange boat. Visitors could often see her laying spread out in the grass, occasionally turning her head to munch on her soft bed.”

Bam Bam was featured in KMBC 9’s Zoo View in May.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.


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