Tails From The Zoo

Celebrating Debby around the world November 18, 2008

Because online news stories don’t always stay front and centre, we are providing the following “news clippings” to help you follow the celebration of Debby’s life that is moving around the world. We have been receiving hundreds of condolences and best wishes from people from around the world who saw Debby over her 42 years at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, as well as others who never met her but now how special she became.

We are providing the stories as is and all rights and copyright remain with their authors.

Debby the polar bear euthanized

Updated: Tue Nov. 18 2008 11:36:53 From: ctvwinnipeg.ca

Debby the polar bear, one of the world’s most-famous and loved bears, was euthanized at the Assiniboine Park Zoo Monday.

Zoo officials say Debby’s medical condition has been gradually declining for several months, but that she remained active and alert until Monday, when a clinical exam indicated multiple organ failure. They say she spent her last moments surrounded by her caring zoo-keepers and veterinarians.

Born in the Russian Arctic in 1966, and arriving at the Assiniboine Park Zoo as an orphaned cub in 1967, Debby spent most of her life with her mate Skipper, with whom she produced six surviving offspring.

When Debby was 41-years-old, she was entered into the 2008 Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living polar bear. At 42 she was within the top three longevity record-holders for all eight species of bears.

“Debby played a dominant role in the Winnipeg Zoo’s animal family for over four decades, generating great public appeal and important contributions to the Zoo’s interpretive programs,” said the zoo in a press release. “She epitomized what one orphaned animal can achieve in promoting the conservation of her species and other wildlife in light of mounting ecological and environmental challenges like global warming.”

Dr. Gordon Glover, Assiniboine Park Zoo’s coordinator, recalled Debby’s ability to “strike magnificent and charming poses,” which resulted in her being featured in many photos and films. “She will be missed by millions of Zoo visitors,” said Glover.

The public is invited to celebrate Debby’s remarkable life at a ceremony to be held in the Zoo’s Animal Tracks Café from Noon to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

Oh Debby… you were so lovely…

Tue, 2008-11-18 04:33. Ace Burpee, Ace Burpee’s blog

Just a couple of weeks shy of her 42nd birthday, our wonderful Debby the polar bear has passed away. When I first heard I just put my head in my hands and sat there for ages. Then I phoned my mum. I wasn’t sure what to do. I woke up this morning and it’s the first thing that popped into my mind. I’m now convincing myself to celebrate the positives about her life instead of just being sad about her passing. She was so cool. I’m so lucky that I got to meet her. It’s still so vivid in my mind and I’ll never forget it. I’ve been to the zoo alot and just stood there watching Debby… wondering what she’s thinking, how she’s feeling. As soon as I would see her I would smile. I love her. I also told her so to her face so I feel good about that. I suppose I was aware this day would come eventually, but I don”t like to think about things like that. We’re lucky we had her for so long. For most of us, there’s never been an Assiniboine Park Zoo without Debby. She’s been here since 1967. Now she’s with her mate and best friend Skipper, who she’s been apart from for almost 10 years. I love you Debby. Many did.

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One Response to “Celebrating Debby around the world”

  1. We too in the Indian Ocean are sad about Debbie’s death although it did not come as a surprise.

    In the K-Files blog, Knut’s Outpost in the Indian Ocean you can find some photos and links to her too.

    I would like to know Debbie’s birth date, as we seem to have missed her 42nd birthday. I couldn’t find the date where ever I was looking for it.

    Farewell Debby, just farewell!


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