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Oddly Enough

Africa's last polar bear

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 - 00:58

Feb. 3 - Africa's last polar bear mourns its partner's death in South Africa's Johannesburg Zoo. Tara Cleary reports.

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A polar bear named Wang is the last of his species in Africa. His mate, Geebee died at Johannesburg Zoo in January after suffering a heart attack. According to the zoo's chief vet, Katja Koeppel, Wang has reacted by tearing up toys and grass and even bending the steel door of his pen. The bears had been together at the zoo for almost 30 years but never bred because South Africa's temperatures are too high. Koeppel says it's inappropriate to keep polar bears in captivity in a warm climate. SOUNDBITE: Katja Koeppel, Johannesburg Zoo chief veterinarian, saying (English): "There is no conservation we can for the polar bear here, they don't breed due to our climate, so our feeling is it wouldn't be fair to bring polar bears to Africa into a wrong climate and will not have polar bears on exhibit any longer." At 30 years old, Wang has already far outlived the average wild polar bear, whose life expectancy is around 18 years.

Africa's last polar bear

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 - 00:58

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