In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Ahpun, a female polar bear, strolls around her cage at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska. The popular polar bear died unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve the zoo said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Dan Joling, File)

In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Ahpun, a female polar bear, strolls around her cage at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska. The popular polar bear died unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve the zoo said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Dan Joling, File)

Polar bear Ahpun dies after nearly 20 years at Alaska Zoo

  • Tuesday, January 2, 2018 10:11pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A beloved polar bear at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has died.

A zookeeper Sunday found Ahpun, who was about 20 years old, dead during morning rounds.

Zoo director Patrick Lampi says Ahpun had shown no signs of illness and a necropsy found no cause of death.

Tissue will be sent out for additional analysis.

Ahpun was orphaned in 1998 near Point Lay on Alaska’s northwest coast. A man returning from a fishing trip unknowingly approached a den and Ahpun’s mother charged.

The fisherman shot the bear in self-defense and determined she had emerged from a den. The fisherman crawled inside and found the cub.

Ahpun grew from a 31-pound cub into a 700-pound adult.

The zoo also has a male polar bear, nicknamed Louie.

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read