Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Polar bear dies after eating object

Polar bear Anton in the enclosure of the zoo (AP/dpa, Bernd Weibrod)

A polar bear has died after apparently swallowing a jacket or bag dropped into his enclosure by a visitor, a German zoo said.

The Wilhelma zoo in Stuttgart said zookeepers realised something was wrong with 25-year-old Anton when he started vomiting pieces of fabric. The bear died early on Monday of severe intestinal injuries.

The zoo said it is not clear why Anton ate the object rather than tearing it apart, as he usually did with things that landed in his enclosure. His keepers suspect there was something tasty inside that the bear could not resist.

The zoo appealed to visitors to report the loss of large objects to allow zookeepers to remove them quickly. It says it previously lost an elephant seal that swallowed a toy animal.

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