Anchorage, Ak -- Late Monday afternoon, the Alaska Zoo sent out this statement: "It is with heavy, broken hearts that the 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 the zoo family and a favorite among visitors since 2006".
Despite tests showing signs of normal Heart and abdominal functions, due to Lyu’s size, it was not possible to evaluate the entire abdomen. An evaluation following his death revealed a mass around and in one of his kidneys. A more comprehensive pathology review is in progress.
The Alaska Zoo added in a statement, "In addition to Lyu being a friend to keepers and visitors, we will forever be in his gratitude for what he did to spread awareness and share important information about his species through the Alaska Zoo’s education department".