Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A final visit with Aurora of Seneca Park

Aurora during playtime and feeding time in the summer of 2013
She was always a little shy, preferring to stay out of sight unless it was feeding time, but Aurora was beloved by so many zoo visitors anyway. The zoo's facebook page today is awash with condolences and memories of this lovely lady bear. Many have known her and visited her all their lives. 

Aurora in November 2017
 After the death of Zero in the fall of 2016, Aurora was out and about a little more, and sometimes even playful in the water.

Still, she was a quiet bear.

Aurora in front, Zero in back.
 Aurora and her twin brother Bubba were born November 5, 1989 in Salt Lake City. A few years later,  Bubba became companion to Berlin, and Aurora moved to Rochester to become mate to Berlin's twin Yukon. These other twins were born in the Cincinnati Zoo about a month after Aurora and Bubba were born. Of the four, only Berlin is left.

  Aurora and Yukon became parents of Anoki, born in 1996 and now in the Baltimore Zoo. 

In 1999,  twins Lee and Anana (although they had different names when they were small, Lee was Qilak and Anana was Sila) came along. Lee now lives in Denver and Anana lives in North Carolina. 

Haley, born in 2002, is now living in Memphis.

Aurora lived at Rocky Shores, which is a wonderful polar bear habitat.
 Now it is empty.
 Yukon died in 2008. Zero arrived in 2010 to keep Aurora company; however, no more cubs were born. Zero was an audience favorite, always playing and splashing and clowning around, not afraid of taking his naps outside where everyone could watch him.

In 2013, feeding time
 Aurora made some medical history a few years ago when she became the first polar bear to undergo artificial insemination by specialists from CREW from the Cincinnati Zoo. Aurora was a good candidate, haven given birth to cubs before. The experiment  did not take, however much was learned from the attempt.

Aurora licking something yummy
  After Zero died, Aurora was out and about more, having the enclosure all to herself. I visited her four months ago during feeding time. She had some small fish, which she was taking her time to enjoy, just nibbling here and there. After she had had enough, she disappeared back inside.

Aurora in 2013, having some fish

Aurora in 2013
 At age 28, she had been doing well until recently, when her health rapidly declined, and the vets made the difficult decision to end her suffering.
Aurora in November 2017. A nice smile

Aurora in November 2017

Feeding time, November, 2017. My last visit to Aurora.

Farewell, pretty lady


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  2. Kind words for wonderful Aurora Molly.
    Farwell pretty polar bear lady...