Dec. 26, Boxing Day, is Inuka’s birthday.

It would have been 28 years old.

Inuka dies

Launch of a picture book

Eight months since Inuka’s passing, the Singapore Zoo and The Straits Times Press decided to launch a children’s book on its birthday, officiated by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung.

Source: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

When news of his death reached Ong, Ong penned a farewell note, saying that the polar bear had been part of his children’s growing up years.

Titled The One and Only Inuka, the book chronicles the life of the male polar bear for young readers.

Source: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The book was written by veteran journalist Alan John and illustrated by Quek Hong Shin.

John had been a great fan of Inuka, and had tracked his life from the time the polar bear was born.

He said,

“I was sad when Inuka died this year, even though he was pretty old in polar bear years. Hong Shin and I hope that this book will help all of us who knew Inuka over nearly three decades, to remember the best of this tropical polar bear who loved a crowd and made a big impression on all who visited him”.

The event also featured the past birthday cakes for Inuka.

Source: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Inuka’s last birthday cake was an agar agar cake, with salmon on top, and was presented to Inuka at its feeding session at 11am, Dec 26, 2017.

The One and Only Inuka is available in Singapore Zoo retail stores and all leading bookstores.

Inuka passed away in April 2018

As the first male polar bear to be born in the tropics, Inuka passed away peacefully after 9.30am on April 25, 2018, after its care team, consisting of vets and keepers, made the difficult decision not to revive it from anaesthesia on humane grounds.

Inuka was put under general anesthesia earlier in the morning on April 25 to commence a health check-up. This was done to ascertain the polar bear’s health after witnessing it worsen over several months.

Due to its ailing limbs, Inuka was unable to support its own weight of more than 500kg.

The final health examination found that the wounds on its paws and abdomen had not responded to treatment and did not improve.

As Inuka was administered another chemical to put it to sleep while under general anesthesia, it felt no pain.

Related story

Keeper’s eulogy for Inuka: Mischievous, kaypoh & playful to the end

Photos from Wildlife Reserves Singapore