WINNIPEG — One of Assiniboine Park Zoo‘s polar bears has passed away.
The zoo announced Thursday that nine-year-old Aurora died during a dental procedure earlier this week.
The bear had lived at the zoo since 2013 since being rescued from Churchill, Manitoba and transferred to Winnipeg as a young cub.
It’s believed her teeth were damaged from eating rocks and sticks in her attempt to survive without the care and protection of her mother, the zoo said. She had experienced recurring dental issues ever since and was receiving ongoing care.
“Everyone at the zoo is deeply saddened by this sudden loss,” said Grant Furniss, senior director, zoological operations, Assiniboine Park Zoo.
“Aurora was a beautiful polar bear and a wonderful ambassador for her species. She was loved by the team who cared for her every day and will be tremendously missed.”
Officials say Aurora was under anaesthesia during Tuesday’s dental procedure, but when staff attempted to reverse the drugs, she went into cardiac arrest.
Further tests will be conducted. Zoo officials say preliminary investigations into an underlying condition or cause of death are inconclusive.