Sad News! Lars The Captive Polar Bear Was Sadly Euthanized Today At Denmark Zoo


It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the news that Lars, a polar bear in Denmark’s Aalborg Zoo was euthanized.

As per the zoo’s Facebook Page, concern over Lars’ health intensified after a dental check on September 5th resulted in alarming blood tests that revealed an increase in liver function.

An updated message that was posted a few hours ago explained that Lars had been examined again today and a very large tumor was found on his liver.

A petition had previously been circulated requesting an independent veterinary examination of Lars by a group believing he was suffering from zoochosis; the term used to describe the stereotypical behavior of animals held in captivity such as a repetitive, invariant behavior pattern with no obvious goal or function.

The petition stated that they would like an independent veterinarian to examine Lars to determine what the actual cause of his illness is.

“Lars is clearly suffering from zoochosis and the cure to this is not to send him to another zoo, he should be sent to a polar bear sanctuary in Canada where he can spend his remaining life free from people staring at his distress.”

The petition, addressed to EAZA Executive Committee, Frank Rietkerk, also requested to receive the full autopsy report of Vilma, another Polar Bear who died last year only two weeks after her arrival to the Aalborg Zoo.

Sadly, according to CPH Online, Vilma’s relocation from Germany also allowed her to be reunited with Lars. They previously had two cubs together, Anori and Fiete.

Lars and Vilma

“We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Vilma was repeatedly anesthetized before each transfer from one zoo to another. As Lars had also been. There has been an increasing amount of Polar Bear deaths this year in zoos, there is a possible link to the anesthetizer used and the deaths in zoos,” continued the letter.

Ultimately, the group and others including WAN want a ban enforced that will bring the end to holding Polar Bear captive in zoos altogether.

Sadly, time ran out for Lars but there are many more polar bears that still need our help, compassion and voice!”

Donations to Polar Bears International can be made HERE!

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