Seaworld has been rocked by the sudden death of much-loved polar bear, Liya.
19-year-old Liya passed away in her enclosure at the theme park on Saturday night.
Liya was born at Leningrad Zoo in Russia in December 2000 and was moved to the world-class Polar Bear Shores exhibit at Seaworld the following year where she had been delighting visitors ever since.
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She gave birth to her first litter in 2013 with just one cub, Henry, surviving.
Henry was moved to Canada two years later to be placed in an international breeding program.
Liya gave birth to twin cubs in 2017 but again only one survived.
Mishka, remains at Seaworld today.
In a statement, Seaworld said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by Liya’s death.
“Liya lived a long and enriched life at Sea World and her legacy to the ongoing conservation and education efforts of Polar Bears will continue through her cubs, Mishka, who lives on the Gold Coast and Henry, who lives in Canada.
“The animals at Sea World are like family and Liya will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. In her 18 years at Sea World, she has helped generations of park guests gain a better appreciation for Polar Bears and the marine environment.
“The Sea World Team thank you for your support during this difficult time.”