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Heartbreaking: Polar bear dies after it swallows rubber ball thrown by a zoo visitor
Seeing him collapse, his carer immediately called for help following which a crew of vets arrived at the scene within ten minutes
A male polar bear died after swallowing a toy ball thrown into his enclosure by a young visitor in a Russian zoo. According to zoo authorities, the 25-year-old polar bear, named Umka, suddenly collapsed on the ground while having breakfast in his enclosure in Yekaterinburg on Monday morning. Seeing him collapse, his carer immediately called for help following which a crew of vets arrived at the scene within ten minutes, but Umka had already died by then, Dailu Mail reported.
After an autopsy was performed, it was found that his death was caused by a small rubber ball found in his stomach by the medical staff. Devastated by his sudden death, zoo staff claim that the rubber ball was likely thrown to Umka by a visitor.
Notably, Umka’s female friend, a polar bear named Aina, who lived in the same enclosure with him, is also saddened by his death. Employee An employee Yekaterina Uvarova told local media, ”Aina is very sad now. She and Umka shared the same enclosure and spent a lot of time together. They cared about each other and exchanged toys. It is not common for polar bears to socialise with each other when they are adults.”
After the tragic loss, zoo authorities said that they are going to keep a closer eye on Aina to prevent such incidents in the future.
‘Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to express their love properly. Despite the numerous warning signs, some visitors throw “treats” and foreign objects to animals, without even thinking about the possible sad consequences,’ the zoo’s spokesperson told Daily Mail.