Gus, The Central Park Polar Bear, Died of a “Broken Heart”


Gus, the lumbering white bear on display at the Central Park Zoo, has died at the age of 27. The lovable oaf had an inoperable tumor in his throat, prompting zoo officials to euthanize him. Gus’s mate Ida was euthanized in 2011 after battling her own cancer. The old boy has kept a much lower profile ever since. At least now they’re reunited in Arctic Circle Heaven, along with the Arctic Circle itself.

Gus came to the Central Park Zoo in 1988 from the Toledo zoo where he was born. In that time he came to become a crowd favorite here in New York.

He was 27 when he died, 7 years longer than the normal life expectancy for a male polar bear. Gus had a good run: he outlived both of his female companions. His other mate, Lily, died in 2004 at 18. She, like Ida and Gus, was also euthanized following a cancer diagnosis.