Polar bear Ahpun dies after nearly 20 years at Alaska Zoo

AP News
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Posted: Jan 02, 2018 7:57 PM
Polar bear Ahpun dies after nearly 20 years at Alaska Zoo

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A beloved polar bear at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has died.

A zookeeper Sunday found Ahpun (ah-POON'), who was about 20 years old, dead during morning rounds.

Zoo director Patrick Lampi (LAM-pee) says Ahpun had shown no signs of illness and a necropsy found no cause of death. Tissue will be sent out for additional analysis.

Ahpun was orphaned in 1998 near Point Lay on Alaska's northwest coast. A man returning from a fishing trip unknowingly approached a den and Ahpun's mother charged.

The fisherman shot the bear in self-defense and determined she had emerged from a den. The fisherman crawled inside and found the cub.

Ahpun grew from a 31-pound (14-kilogram) cub into a 700-pound (317-kilogram) adult.

The zoo also has a male polar bear, nicknamed Louie.