ShareThis Page
World

Polar bear Ahpun dies after nearly 20 years at Alaska Zoo

| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 10:42 p.m.
In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Ahpun, a female polar bear, strolls around her cage at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska. The popular polar bear died unexpectedly on New Year's Eve the zoo said Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Ahpun, a female polar bear, strolls around her cage at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska. The popular polar bear died unexpectedly on New Year's Eve the zoo said Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A beloved polar bear at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has died.

A zookeeper Sunday found Ahpun (ah-POON'), who was about 20 years old, dead during morning rounds.

Zoo director Patrick Lampi (LAM-pee) says Ahpun had shown no signs of illness and a necropsy found no cause of death. Tissue will be sent out for additional analysis.

Ahpun was orphaned in 1998 near Point Lay on Alaska's northwest coast. A man returning from a fishing trip unknowingly approached a den and Ahpun's mother charged.

The fisherman shot the bear in self-defense and determined she had emerged from a den. The fisherman crawled inside and found the cub.

Ahpun grew from a 31-pound cub into a 700-pound adult.

The zoo also has a male polar bear, nicknamed Louie.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me