Polar bears at the Ranua Wildlife Park in Finland romp in a batch of snow, delivered to combat the effects of the warm weather. USA TODAY
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Zoo has thrown a birthday party for 37-year-old Coldilocks, the oldest polar bear in captivity in the United States.
The zoo says they celebrated her birthday Thursday with a peanut butter, honey, raisin and fish cake. Guests at the party braved a cold, icy day to sing “Happy Birthday” to the bear.
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Zoo officials say the average lifespan for polar bears in captivity is 23 years. They credit Coldilocks’ long life to the care she receives from her keepers and veterinary staff.
Coldilocks lived with her partner Klondike for more than three decades before the bear died in 2015 at age 34.
Polar bears as a species are listed as vulnerable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated in January that about 26,000 specimens remain in the wild.
In fact, a disturbing video of a dying polar bear went viral last week. "It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me," said National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen. "When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner."
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