Hogle Zoo’s Rizzo the polar bear dies

Rizzo the polar bear. Image courtesy Hogle Zoo.

SALT LAKE CITY — Rizzo the polar bear died by euthanasia late Saturday afternoon.

Saturday morning 19-year-old Rizzo started end-of-life care in which she was monitored hour-by-hour of her condition until finally euthanasia was required, a press release said.

“We announced her condition yesterday knowing how much she meant to the community,” said Erica Hansen, Community Relations Manager, in a press release. “We were hoping we had more time.”

Officials from the Hogle Zoo said Rizzo was experiencing renal failure; a terminal condition where the kidneys are unable to function properly.

According to the press release, renal failure is common in polar bears.

“How do you thank a bear who has brought so much to the lives of so many?” said Hansen in the press release. “Our Facebook page has been flooded with our guests sharing photos and memories. She just brought so much joy – we will miss her everyday.”

Rizzo was the first polar bear Hogle Zoo had in 9-years, the press release said, with polar bears listed as one of the “Big Six” the zoo has committed to conserving.

Hogle Zoo has seen 10 successful cub births from 1957 to 2003, officials said.