Buzz the polar bear, longtime Como Park Zoo resident, dies at 24

He passed away due to "suspected neurological issues."
Publish date:

A polar bear who became one of the more popular attractions at St. Paul's Como Park Zoo has passed away.

On Saturday, the zoo announced that Buzz was humanely euthanized "due to suspected neurological issues":

The decision came after "all treatment options were exhausted with the animal care and veterinary team."

Buzz was 24 years old; most polar bears in the wild live from 15 to 18 years old. (In captivity, they can live past the age of 30 in some cases, with one captive polar bear in Canada reaching the age of 42). 

Buzz was born at the Louisville Zoo along with his twin brother Neil, both named after the first men to walk on the moon, in 1995. The pair would come to Como Park from the San Diego Zoo in 2001.

Como Park says Buzz was an "active participant" in the zoo's training programs, and that he was the third polar bear in the country to allow zookeepers to draw blood voluntarily (after his brother).

(This involves training the bears to "tolerate blood draws without having to be tranquilized," Popular Science says. The magazine adds that specialized cages, along with feeding and comfort from a zookeeper, makes this possible, cutting down on the animal's stress.)

"Buzz has been a proud ambassador of conservation and will be missed by all," the release says. 


Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.