Zoo should celebrate Inuka's life

I am saddened to know that Inuka, the Singapore Zoo's resident polar bear, is not doing well (Zoo regulars pay visit to ailing polar bear, April 13; and Hundreds visit ailing Inuka at zoo, April 15).

While I appreciate the tremendous efforts put in by the zoo's veterinarians and keepers to save Inuka, my heart sank when I read that it may be put down at the end of this month if its health deteriorates further.

It was always a joy to see the playful Inuka frolicking in the pool with its parents Nanook and Sheba in the early 1990s.

The adorable and water-loving bear was a graceful swimmer and enjoyed showing off to audiences.

I remember watching it finish off its "ice kachang" - frozen blocks of ice containing treats such as fish and fruit - within minutes.

Inuka, which got its name through a nationwide naming contest, is well-loved. In fact, the polar bear enclosure is one of the most popular sites in the zoo, with many visitors going there first before proceeding to other areas.

Perhaps the zoo can dedicate a day to Inuka, or organise special events. Postcards and other memorabilia of the iconic bear could be distributed to visitors.

I am certain that there will be a massive turnout of people to shower their love and affection on the 27-year-old bear before its health worsens.

A. Thiyaga Raju

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2018, with the headline 'Zoo should celebrate Inuka's life'. Print Edition | Subscribe