Bronx zoo’s polar bear euthanized

Tundra was born at the Bronx Zoo in 1991. He was euthanized and died at age 26. (Julie Larsen Maher)

BRONX — Tundra, the Bronx zoo’s beloved 26-year-old polar bear, was euthanized due to medical conditions associated with old age, zoo officials said Wednesday.

He passed away on Saturday, zoo officials said. Tundra suffered from a chronic kidney disease and arthritis that worsened despite treatment.

Tundra was born at the Bronx zoo in 1991.

“Many of us grew up with Tundra,” Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny said. “He lived a long life under the dedicated care of our keeper and veterinary staffs.  Despite his age he remained extremely active and playful until just before his death. Tundra served as an important ambassador for his species, giving our guests an opportunity to see the power, majesty and grace of polar bears while learning about the problems these bears face in the wild due to a changing environment.”

The Bronx zoo is not planning to acquire another polar bear or to exhibit the species again in the near future.