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16-Year-Old Polar Bear, Kobe, Dies At Lincoln Park Zoo

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Lincoln Park Zoo says good-bye to a favorite.

Lincoln Park Zoo sadly reported Thursday that animal care staff had to make the difficult, but humane decision to euthanize Kobe, the zoo's female polar bear.

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Kobe, 16-year-old polar bear (Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo)

According to the zoo, the polar bear was experiencing illness and discomfort that led to reduced mobility. Animal care staff closely monitored and treated Kobe's illness, but her health significantly deteriorated when she presented with renal failure. She was 16-years old.

Kobe was born at Roger Williams Park Zoo, before she was transferred to Lincoln Park Zoo.

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Kobe (Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo)

"During her time in Chicago, Kobe quickly became a favorite of zoo staff, members, volunteers and guests," said General Curator Dave Bernier. "Kobe spent most of her time exploring her habitat, interacting with keepers and initiating bouts of play with Siku."

The zoo is working with Polar Bear Species Survival Plan to find a companion animal or potential mate for the zoo's 7-year-old male polar bear, Siku. The male polar bear remains in good health and had previously been separated from Kobe for denning season. Animal care staff will continue to monitor his behavior.

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