A beloved polar bear has died at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York.

Director Larry Sorel says the loss of 28-year-old Aurora is "difficult for the entire zoo family."

Zoo Society President Pamela Reed Sanchez says Aurora was "an extraordinary ambassador" for her "vulnerable species."

Seneca Park Zoo is saddened to announce that 28-year-old female polar bear, Aurora, was euthanized earlier this week...

Posted by Seneca Park Zoo on Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Aurora was born at Utah's Hogle Zoo in 1989 and arrived at Seneca Park Zoo in 1991.


She had severe liver disease, and her condition worsened quickly.

The zoo's director of animal health and conservation says that's not uncommon. Dr. Louis DiVincenti says the Polar Bear Species Survival Plan is working to find out what leads to the animals' tendency for liver and gall bladder disease.

Despite her illness, Aurora surpassed the life expectancy for a female polar bear by four years.

Aurora playing in the snow - Seneca Park Zoo

Zoo keeper Heidi Beifus captured Aurora playing in the snow! She just came out of denning season yesterday, and jumped into the water today. At 28 years old, Aurora prefers to stay indoors. But you can see her outside during her feeding times, Mon-Fri at 11:30 a.m.

Posted by Seneca Park Zoo on Wednesday, 10 January 2018

- AP