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Central Park Zoo Polar Bear Swims to That Big Iceberg in the Sky

I haz all the sads you guys. Gus, beloved New York icon, died yesterday when vets discovered an inoperable tumor in his thyroid region.


(Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society)

He joins his beloved friend—the Grace to his Will—Ida, who died in 2011 of liver cancer.

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Gus was the greatest of the Central Park Zoo residents, though the penguins who just stand there staring off into nothing as they shake their asses gave him a run for his money (but they really, really smell). Gus could be found methodically swimming laps in his pool, which is really no surprise since he was a G-D polar bear and polar bears are used to swimming miles and miles in the actual ocean. As is the case with most zoo animals, Gus' life was almost certainly not an especially happy one, but he brought happiness, and perhaps awareness of his species' plight, to millions of people.

RIP, Gus.

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