The beloved polar bear Tasul recently died at Oregon Zoo after a tumor had been discovered on her right ovary. The zoo officials announced Friday that they decided to euthanize the animal because the cancer was too spread.
The difficult decision was taken during surgery when the veterinarians concluded that there was nothing else they could do to stop the disease from spreading further. According to Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, Oregon Zoo marine life keeper, lots of zoo visitors mourn the loss of Tasul.
The Bond Between Tasul and the Oregon Zoo
Nicassio-Hiskey, who knew Tasul for over 15 years, said that the female was a symbol of the Oregon Zoo and that many people loved her. She further added that Tasul played a major role in raising awareness about the polar bears’ critical situation.
That is why experts are doing their best to support the recovery of the polar bear population. Five years ago, Tasul voluntarily gave blood, becoming the first specimen on the planet which did that. Thanks to this important event, animal welfare improved.
Also, it caught the attention of Dr. Karyn Rode, a researcher with the United States Geological Survey’s Polar Bear Team, who contacted the Oregon Zoo for help with a study related to the effects of climate change on polar bears’ diets.
According to Curator Amy Cutting, who met Tasul 14 years ago, the zoo keepers did a great job by gaining Tasul’s trust over the years. Although she was a bit nervous in the beginning, the female quickly became playful and confident.
Nora is the Zoo’s Hope
The 31-year-old polar bear was born on the 1st of December, 1984, in Columbia at the Riverbanks Zoo. She arrived at the Oregon Zoo in 1986, and since then, Tasul formed strong bonds with the keepers. They are sad that Tasul died shortly after the arrival of Nora, a one-year-old polar bear, which was transferred to the Oregon Zoo from the Columbus Zoo.
Cutting underlined that Nora was brought there to meet another polar bear. However, the two females didn’t have the time to get to know each other well.
She adds that although a young polar bear receives all the attention it needs from keepers, it is important for it to get into contact with an adult polar bear which would play the role of a mentor. Therefore, the Oregon Zoo is currently searching for the ideal companion for Nora.
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