NY, NY (Courtesy-NY Times)
Ida was born in Buffalo in 1985 and moved to the Central Park Zoo at the age of 2. There, her life was tinged by celebrity. She was served tilapia on a block of ice by the chef Rachael Ray; she was chronicled in newspaper articles, once as “Frolicsome Ida;” and then, of course, she faced the constant crush of gawking onlookers.
According to a news release from the zoo, Ida was quite elderly for her species when she died. On average, the release said, polar bears in the wild live to 18.
Ida is survived by Gus, her companion of 24 years and the only other polar bear at the zoo. Over their many years together, the pair was often photographed cuddling. She is also survived by her zookeepers, who were given some “quiet time” with her before she was put down, the news release said.
“Ida was a great ambassador for all polar bears,” Jeff Sailer, director of City Zoos, said in a statement. “She was truly a wonderful animal and will be missed every day by our staff and guests.”