Reid Park Zoo is deeply saddened to announce the death of “Snow,” a 17 year-old polar bear. She was discovered first thing this morning by her Zoo Keeper. She was in her normal sleeping position and location, with no signs of trauma.

Pathologists will conduct a full necropsy to try to identify a cause of death. However, “we may not have a single reason to point to,” indicates Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Alexis Moreno. “Although she’s had a number of health issues throughout her life, there were no immediate concerns – she was swimming and eating well yesterday. Her overall appearance and condition since arriving in February had improved dramatically.”

“I’m extremely proud of the care Snow received from our team,” stated Jim Schnormeier, the Zoo’s General Curator. “Although Snow had chronic health concerns, our staff did everything possible to provide her with a great quality of life. We have many geriatric animals in our care right now and we anticipate losses in the near future, but this loss was unexpected. She will be missed.”

Early necropsy results may be available as early as Thursday, but final results will take several weeks.