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Tulsa Polar Bear Dies

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Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum
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Polar bears play in the sunshine at the Tulsa Zoo.

By Associated Press

Tulsa, OK – Polar bear at Tulsa Zoo euthanized after illness

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A 23-year-old polar bear at the Tulsa Zoo has been euthanized after fighting kidney disease.

A press release issued by the zoo says the bear, named Kavek, died Thursday.

Kavek had been undergoing treatment for the illness since December. After zookeepers noticed a change in the animal's appetite, he was given an emergency medical examination, which indicated that his kidney disease had progressed dramatically.

That led to the decision to euthanize what zoo officials called a "senior-aged" polar bear.

Kavek was born at the Buffalo Zoo on Nov. 23, 1985, and had been at the Tulsa Zoo since December 2006. He was on loan from the Denver Zoo, as the Tulsa Zoo's regular polar bear is in Denver as part of a polar bear breeding program.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.