Lyutyik the polar bear, who was transferred from Australia to Alaska Zoo in 2006 as part of a breeding program, has died aged 19.

Officials announced on the zoo website on Monday that 19-year-old Lyutyik (LOO-tee-ik) died on Sunday.

Lyityik, generally referred to as Lyu or Louie was part of the zoo since 2006.

He arrived from Sea World on the Gold Coast as a five year old in the hope he would breed with Alaska Zoo’s eight-year-old female Aphun.

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It is with heavy, broken hearts that our Alaska Zoo team announces the death of Lyutyik. Affectionately known as “Lyu” or “Louie,” the 19-year-old polar bear had been a beloved member of our zoo family and a favorite among visitors since 2006. Having been receiving medical treatment over the last two months, Lyu passed away late yesterday. An evaluation following his death revealed a mass around and in one of his kidneys, something that often goes undetected in animals so large as Lyu. A more comprehensive pathology review is in progress. Whether you came to visit him in person or followed him on the live polar bear cam, we know you loved Lyu just as we did. We thank you for that and ask that you share your favorite memories and photos of our beloved Lyu in the comments below. Image by John Gomes. #alaskazoo #zoo #animals #alaskananimals #alaskalife #alaska #nonprofit #polarbear #ursusmaritimus

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Zoo officials last week said the bear had become lethargic and was refusing to eat two months ago, and caretakers removed him from his usual habitat for monitoring.

After the bear died, an evaluation found a mass around and in one of his kidneys.


Zoo officials say the condition often goes undetected in animals that large. A more comprehensive pathology review is planned.

Polar Bears International says some polar bears in captivity have lived to their mid- to late 30s.