Ida, one of two beloved polar bears at the Central Park Zoo, was euthanized Friday by Wildlife Conservation Society vets after they determined she had liver disease, the zoo said today in a statement. She was 25.
Ida was born in the Buffalo Zoo in 1985 and came to New York City two years later.
She spent the majority of her life with her male companion, Gus. The two bears were featured -- usually in photos of them cuddling -- on countless tourism guides, and were visited by millions of guests of the zoo.
“Ida was a great ambassador for all polar bears," said Jeff Sailer, director of City Zoos. “She was truly a wonderful animal and will be missed every day by our staff and guests."
Ida was loved by her keepers and the public, the WCS said, and enjoyed a life on display at the zoo. Sailer said she inspired more people to care about the plight of polar bears in the wild.
"No one could visit Ida without leaving more connected to the wonders of our planet," he said.