TULSA, OK -- One of the Tulsa Zoo's most popular arctic animals lost his battle with chronic kidney disease Thursday.
Kavek, the zoo's only polar bear, was euthanized after an exam found his kidney disease had progressed dramatically.
"While Kavek's disease was degenerative, the decision to euthanize was very hard on all zoo staff, said Terrie Correll, zoo director. "He was so beloved by our guests, as well as our own community of zoo employees."
The senior-aged bear had been undergoing treatment since December for kidney disease but returned to public exhibit in March.
Kavek was born at the Buffalo Zoo on Nov. 23, 1985, and has lived at the Tulsa Zoo since December 2006 while on loan from the Denver Zoo.
Zoo officials have yet to determine whether another polar bear will join the zoo's collection.
Tulsa Zoo invites guests and the community to share sympathies and condolences for Kavek on Tulsa Zoo's official MySpace page at www.myspace.com/tulsazoo.