No more polar bears in Singapore: Wildlife Reserves, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

No more polar bears in Singapore: Wildlife Reserves

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Inuka will be Singapore's last polar bear, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) reiterated yesterday.

The Singapore Zoo had said in 2006 that it would not bring any more polar bears to Singapore, after discussions with its Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has supported Inuka since its birth. SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over the adoption of the bear from 2007.

SPH Foundation chairman Lee Boon Yang said: "Over the years, he has brought so much joy to many, and we now share everyone's sorrow over his passing.

"We believe WRS' decision to let him go is in his best interest and would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Singapore Zoo for taking good care of him all these years," he added.

Inuka is Inuit for "silent stalker", a name chosen from more than 10,000 entries during a nationwide naming contest after its birth in 1990.

Inuka's father, Nanook, died in 1995 at the age of 18, while its mother, Sheba, died in 2012 at the age of 35. Anana, a female polar bear, died in 1999.

Zoo visitors were downhearted when they learnt that Inuka had been put down.

Housewife Pamela Lee, 41, took her four-year-old daughter, Bliss, to the zoo yesterday. Ms Lee said Bliss was disappointed not to see Inuka, but she understood it was sick and had to go.

"He was a signature animal in the zoo that was with us for many years. Now that he is gone, I am sure everybody will be sad ," she added.

In a Facebook post published yesterday, Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam said: "So many memories down the years, such a favourite. He was well cared for and received lots of love. Will be missed."