SeaWorld Orlando's last polar bear dies unexpectedly

24-year-old polar bear named Johnny dies during examination recovery, vets say

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor
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Johnny the polar bear

ORLANDO, Fla. - SeaWorld Orlando's last polar bear at the park died suddenly on Thursday morning, according to park officials.

Johnny, a 24-year-old polar bear, underwent a physical examination that went well with no unexpected problems. SeaWorld veterinarians said they believe he may have suffered a cardiac arrest event during his recovery, but say a necropsy will provide more information.

Park officials said although Johnny experienced a skin condition and lameness due to his age, his death was unexpected.

"... Johnny enhanced the awareness of polar bears to millions and millions of SeaWorld Orlando fans and visitors - he'll be missed by our guests and team members," Mike Boos, SeaWorld Orlando vice president of zoological operations, said in a release.

Polar bears live between 15-18 years in the wild, according to Polar Bears International,

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