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Last Polar Bear in Africa’s Heart Fails After Partner Perishes

Wang the Polar Bear
Wang, who Johannesburg Zoo said was the last of his species in Africa, was born in December 1985 and arrived in Johannesburg a year later. Source: @JoburgParksZoo via Twitter.com

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Wang, a 28-year-old polar bear whose partner died in January, was euthanized at the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa today after suffering liver and heart failure.

The animal, who the zoo said was the last of his species in Africa, was born in December 1985 and arrived in Johannesburg a year later. Wang “had been pining after his partner of 27 years, GeeBee,” who died from natural causes on Jan. 12, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo said in a statement on its website.

In 2010, the zoo decided not to replace its aging polar bears, it said. Wang had been receiving treatment for liver problems for almost four years, it said.

The bears’ natural habitat is the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean and they have thick body fat to insulate them from the cold.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Bowers in Johannesburg at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net Gordon Bell, Antony Sguazzin

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