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Koluk floats on his back in February 1998 whilst toying with a giant plastic ball in his exhibit at the ABQ BioPark zoo. (Aaron Wilson/Albuquerque Journal)

They say the great die young. Often, they develop old 1st.

That was the case for Koluk, a 26-year-old polar bear that has known as the ABQ BioPark residence considering the fact that the late 1990s. The City of Albuquerque announced Koluk was euthanized on Friday “after his overall health quickly declined this week.”

BioPark officials stated the choice was created right after employees found Koluk had serious liver and kidney illness for the duration of a current checkup.

Koluk was nonetheless ahead of the curve of his bear-thren as most only reside 20 years in captivity and up to 18 in the wild, according to a release sent out Friday. Koluk’s twin brother and exhibit-mate Kiska is nonetheless in great overall health and remains active, but is now the BioPark’s lone polar bear.

Officials stated Kiska “adjusted effectively as a solitary bear” for the duration of Koluk’s illness.

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Koluk goes head 1st into the pool at the ABQ BioPark zoo on July 15, 2001. (Rose Palmisano/Albuquerque Journal)

The release states Koluk and Kiska had been born in November 1996 at Utah’s Hogle Zoo and moved to the BioPark in October 1997.

“Koluk was a single of the most playful animals at the BioPark, and he was a preferred amongst guests and employees,” Casey Taylor, ABQ BioPark assistant mammal curator, stated in a released statement. “We are so fortunate to have cared for Koluk, and we are heartbroken with this loss.”

Koluk’s “playful demeanor was constant” even into his old age, when he nonetheless held a “fondness for diving into the pool to catch fish and ice treats,” according to the release. Koluk reportedly created “deep levels of trust” with employees which helped when it came to numerous exams and “was a important element of his robust overall health and lengthy life.”

Polar bear brothers Koluk and Kiska loosen up in their enclosure at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, which is holding a series of events to celebrate International Polar Bear Day nowadays. (Supply: ABQ BioPark Zoo)

The release states that Koluk was diagnosed with heart illness in 2019 and place on medication to handle his situation. In current days employees saw “a lack of appetite, sluggishness and stiffness” in the bear.

A complete exam was provided on Could 19 and employees found Koluk was suffering from serious liver and kidney illness, according to the release. Because then employees gave “supportive care” to Koluk and further testing showed the illness was progression.

BioPark employees then created the choice to euthanize Koluk.

Koluk tries to cool off from the sweltering heat back in July 2001. (Rose Palmisano/Albuquerque Journal)

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