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The New York Times City Room blog tells the sad, sad story of Gus, the remaining Central Park Zoo polar bear, whose long-term partner Ida was euthanized at the age of 25 on Friday due to a cancer-related liver disease. 🙁 Now Gus, who is also 25, is all by his lonesome, and zookeepers are watching him to see if he will mourn. (Back in 1994, zookeepers thought he had depression when they noticed him swimming constant laps without stopping; they brought a therapist in to help, and the obsessive swimming diminished.)
The only thing more heartbreaking than having to euthanize a polar bear may be the polar bear left behind. Bears, FYI, “do not mate for life,” but they are social, according to scientists, and given the years he spent with Ida, it wouldn’t be unexpected for Gus to feel loss.
However, at least for now, according to Wildlife Conservation Society official Dr. Robert Cook, “he seems to be fine.” Aw, Gus!