Milwaukee County Zoo's polar bear Wilhem has died
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Zoo is reporting that their male polar bear, Wilhem, has died. He was 28 years old.
“Over the past couple of days, 'Willie' was not eating and could not stand,” said the Zoo’s Curator of Large Mammals, Tim Wild. “Our veterinary staff did an exam on Willie and found fluid in his abdomen.”
Wilhelm was euthanized Tuesday morning. The zoo reports that a complete necropsy (animal autopsy) will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Willie arrived here in 2011 from the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, where his exhibit was undergoing a major renovation. He was here for a temporary stay until the exhibit was completed.
Willie was a captive-born bear who lived at the North Carolina Zoo since 2002. During his years at the North Carolina Zoo, he became a visitor favorite – even attracting a regular crowd of Asheboro High School “Zoo School” students who visited Willie daily.
The zoo’s female polar bear, Snow Lilly, remains at the zoo on public exhibit.