S'pore Zoo's polar bear outlives his cousins in the wild

S'pore Zoo's polar bear outlives his cousins in the wild

At almost 23 years of age, Inuka (pictured in his new Frozen Tundra enclosure at the Singapore Zoo) has already outlived his cousins in the wild by around eight years.

He was given a clean bill of health by vets during his latest check-up recently, and his keepers hope that he will hit his 40s, like the longest-living polar bears in captivity.

Analysis of polar bear genomes is providing important clues about the species' evolution, suggesting that climate change and genetic exchange with brown bears helped create the polar bear that is known today.

Some researchers believe that the size of the polar bear population has fluctuated with key climatic events over the past million years, growing during periods of cooling and shrinking in warmer times.

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