Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Zoo polar bear dies during heatwave

Winner, the last polar bear of Buenos Aires zoo, has died after suffering becoming exasperated by the scorching heat of an austral summer (AP)

The last polar bear at the Buenos Aires zoo has died amid a heat wave.

Zoo officials said Winner became nervous and irritated amid the scorching heat of South America's summer and the noise from fireworks during Christmas Eve celebrations.

This affected his ability to control his body temperature and he apparently died of hyperthermia.

The zoo is widely visited in the Argentinian capital and has traditionally showcased polar bears.

Officials said the animals used to live in a 2.5-meter-in-diameter pool but their cage was improved in 1993 when a 145,000-litre pool was built along with a site for birthing and three security rings.

The zoo said in a statement that the site had been visited by experts and met all international regulations to house polar bears.

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