CAZA is Saddened to Learn of the Passing of Blizzard the Polar Bear, and our Thoughts are With Everyone at the Assiniboine Park and Zoo.

Ottawa (January 31, 2019) — The family of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums offers its condolences to the staff, volunteers and everyone who cared for Blizzard, a beloved five-year-old polar bear who died in Winnipeg recently.

“Blizzard and his sister Star were siblings that were transferred to the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre when they were approximately one-year-old, after a search for their mother was unsuccessful,” said Dr. Susan Shafer, the Executive Director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums. “Since 2014 Blizzard educated and inspired many visitors at the zoo and will be greatly missed.”

“Although Blizzard is no longer with us, we are all grateful to have his sister Star at the Assiniboine Park and Zoo. His is spirit will certainly live on.” said Dr. Shafer.

Blizzard had been struggling with clinical symptoms for a few weeks. After being prescribed antibiotics, Blizzard had shown signs of improvement. Then on Monday his condition had worsened and the decision was taken to anesthetize with the hope to further diagnose the health issue. Sadly, Blizzard went into respiratory distress, the veterinary staff at the zoo did everything possible to save him, but sadly Blizzard passed away. Following a necropsy (animal autopsy) preliminary findings indicate inflammation, fluid in the chest cavity and some abnormalities in the heart.  

There is no evidence that indicates Blizzard’s condition was contagious, however staff at the zoo will be closely monitoring the other polar bears for symptoms.

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