December 22, 2016 / 5:43 PM / 9 months ago

Singapore's only polar bear chills out ahead of 26th birthday

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Inuka the polar bear began five days of celebrations for his upcoming 26th birthday with a salmon and minced beef ice cake topped with peanut butter at Singapore Zoo on Thursday.

Inuka was born in the tropical city state and is the zoo’s only polar bear. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said Monday’s birthday could be his last, as his health is deteriorating.

“We could be looking at months, up to maybe one year,” said Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO Of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

Polar bears live for up to 30 years in captivity, or an average 15-18 years in the wild, the zoo said.

A crowd of over 50 people came to see Inuka enjoy his food in his air-conditioned cave, where he escapes Singapore’s muggy temperatures, which rarely drop below 30 Celsius (86F).

WRS has said it will not bring any more arctic animals to Singapore after Inuka dies.

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Patrick Johnston

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