Mourning at Hellabrunn Zoo

On Maundy Thursday, 13 April, our beloved polar bear dad Yoghi died unexpectedly at Hellabrunn Zoo.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Last weekend a heavily bleeding wound was discovered on Hellabrunn’s seventeen-year-old male polar bear. An emergency operation was subsequently performed by the vets who were able to successfully stop the bleeding. However the results of blood tests from the procedure showed, among other things, end-stage kidney disease. In the days that followed, Yoghi was placed under constant observation, with intensive care provided by his keepers and the veterinarian team.


On Thursday afternoon his condition deteriorated rapidly within a few hours. The vets at the zoo responded immediately with emergency treatment, but despite all their efforts Yoghi died early that evening. A post-mortem examination was carried out on the same night and the suspicion of kidney failure was confirmed. "My colleagues and I are very sad about Yoghi's sudden death," says Christine Gohl, head veterinarian at Hellabrunn Zoo. "We had him under constant observation all week and his condition was stable until Thursday afternoon."


"We will always remember Yoghi as a special polar bear. He was a great companion to our female Giovanna, with whom he fathered a total of three cubs," says zoo director Rasem Baban, mourning the loss. "We will have to wait for the results of the post mortem to conclusively determine the cause of death." Once the final report is available, it will be published by the zoo. However, this may take a few weeks.