SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco Zoo is saying goodbye to Uulu, the beloved polar bear, whose declining health led to her death on Friday.
Zoo officials say at 36-years-old, Uulu was one of the oldest polar bears in any Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility.
The 545-pound bear‘s cause of death was congestive heart failure, according to the zoo.
Uulu was the subject of several behavioral studies on geriatric animal care.
Her caretakers were said to have gone to great lengths to give the bear her favorite foods, including romaine lettuce and chicken.
One of her favorite pastimes was digging in the dirt, which turned her white fur brown.
"We are all tremendously saddened by the passing of our polar bear. She was an amazing animal ambassador and helped to educate millions of visitors over the years about polar bear conservation," said Tanya M.
Peterson, President of San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. “Uulu was well-known by many Zoo guests and she will be missed by all who connected with, and cared for her over the years."
SF Zoo rescued Uulu when she was about three-years-old. She came from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Uulu was the only polar bear at the San Francisco Zoo, however plans are in place to design and build a new polar bear facility complete with arctic tundra and plunge pools.
Guests are invited to the zoo this weekend to share sentiments and memories of Uulu at the Polar Bear Exhibit.