Former Indianapolis Zoo polar bear, Tundra, dies at Detroit Zoo

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DETROIT, MI – Tundra the polar bear has passed away at the age of 29, according to the Detroit Zoo.

Tundra lived at the Indianapolis Zoo since the opening of their polar bear exhibit in 1988. She put smiles on visitors' faces until the zoo permanently closed their polar bear exhibit in June of this year.

Tundra was moved to the Detroit Zoo to live out the remainder of her life on June 22.

According to the Detroit Zoo, Tundra appeared seriously ill on Sunday morning and was examined by the zoo’s veterinarians, but they could not determine the cause of her illness.

Tundra’s quality of life continued to decline, and the zoo says they made the difficult decision to euthanize her this morning.

At 29-years-old, Tundra was one of the oldest living polar bears in captivity. Polar bears have an average life span of 15-18 years in the wild and 21-24 years in zoos.

“We are happy we were able to provide Tundra with a great home for the short period of time she was with us. She was a favorite of Detroit Zoo visitors who loved watching her enjoy the 300,000-gallon pool at the Arctic Ring of Life. Our hearts go out to the animal care staff and visitors – both in Detroit and Indianapolis – who knew and loved her,” the Detroit Zoo posted on Facebook.