Minnesota Zoo Mourns the Death of Polar Bear, 24, Who Was Named After Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Minnesota’s Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is saying goodbye to one of its own.
The zoo announced the sad news on Saturday that beloved polar bear Buzz, named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin, died at the age of 24.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Como’s beloved polar bear, Buzz,” zoo staff announced on Saturday, posting a social media tribute on Facebook.
“Buzz’s health declined due to suspected neurological issues and after all treatment options were exhausted with the animal care and veterinary team, the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the 24 year old bear was made,” they added.
Buzz was a longtime resident of the zoo, having come over with his twin brother, named after fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, back in 2001.
The two brothers were born in December 1995 at the Louisville Zoo, and also lived at the Detroit Zoo for a number of years, while their new home, which opened in 2010, was under construction.
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Just like his namesake, Buzz was a history-maker.
In addition to “rolling in the dirt, patrolling the exhibit and bossing around his brother,” zoo staff explained that the polar bear “was an active participant in the zoo’s operant conditioning training program and was the third polar bear in the country to allow zookeepers to draw blood voluntarily (Neil was the second).”
“Buzz has been a proud ambassador of conservation and will be missed by all," staff added.