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Joburg Zoo mourns female polar bear

29-year-old Geebee has died, leaving her male partner as the only polar bear in Africa.

One of Johannesburg Zoo’s polar bears. The zoo’s female bear Geebee died at the age of 29 on 12 January 2014. Picture: www.jhbzoo.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Zoo has announced that one of its two polar bears has died.

The zoo says 29-year-old Geebee passed away on Sunday evening.

She was being treated for diarrhoea but officials say it's likely she died from natural causes relative to her age.

"At first she responded well to the treatment but after a few days rejected further medication. Early on Monday morning during routine checks we discovered that she had passed away," says manager of veterinary services at the zoo Dr Katja Koeppel.

She says Geebee's partner Wang is in mourning.

They were together for nearly 30 years after arriving in the country in 1986.

Wang is being closely monitored and is being kept busy with additional toys, treats and behaviour enrichment activities to mitigate the stress.

He is now the only remaining polar bear in Africa.

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