Coldilocks, who had celebrated her 37th birthday in December, exhibited changes in behavior and eating habits that worried the zoo staff



By Saryn Chorney
February 22, 2018 04:59 PM
Polar Bear Birthday, Philadelphia, USA - 16 Dec 2016
Credit: Matt Rourke/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A beautiful arctic bear with a silly, literary-inspired name won’t soon be forgotten in the City of Brotherly Love.

Coldilocks, born at Seneca Zoo in Rochester, New York, arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1981. She celebrated her 37th birthday in December, making her the oldest polar bear in the United States. In fact, Coldilocks “well surpassed” the average polar bear lifespan by more than 20 years, according to But recently she exhibited changes in behavior and eating habits that worried the zoo staff. The animal park made the tough decision to euthanize the animal on Tuesday.

“Philadelphia Zoo is saddened to announce the passing of female polar bear, Coldilocks, who was euthanized due to recent serious decline in her health,” wrote the zoo in a Facebook post. “During her many years in Philadelphia, Coldilocks delighted people of all ages and inspired them to care about polar bears and conservation issues endangering them. Those wishing to support Coldilocks’ legacy are encouraged to donate to Polar Bears International, an organization devoted to polar bear conservation and the sea ice they depend on.”

Hot Weather, Philadelphia, USA
Credit: Brynn Anderson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“Making the decision to euthanize an animal is never easy, especially one as beloved as Coldilocks,” the zoo said in a statement. “But after observing her the past week and examining her on Monday morning under anesthesia, they reached a consensus that euthanasia was the most humane option.”

Zookeepers uploaded a memorial video in honor of the beloved bear to Facebook, as well.

Fans have also been expressing their sadness and sympathy on social media, through videos, photos and messages of condolence towards the animal and the zoo.

R.I.P. Coldilocks, we know you are in a better place, one that is “just right” for all heavenly creatures.