Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Just days before her planned birthday party, Ahpun has passed away at the Anchorage Zoo of unknown causes.
Zoo officials said the popular bear was found dead in her enclosure on Sunday morning. The bear had been rescued out of the wild after her mother was shot and killed by a fisherman defending himself near Point Lay. The bear was 20 years old and would have turned 21 this month. Instead of a birthday party, the Zoo is expected to hold a memorial service in her honor. Her name means snowflake. She showed no signs of illness before her death, Zoo officials added.
The polar bears have a life expectancy of 15 years in the wild. In captivity they often live much longer. A brown bear at the zoo is currently 36 years old.