Inuka, and the saga of Toto

A trip to the zoo recalls memories of Singapore's much-loved polar bear, and the bittersweet story of a Delhi orang utan

Singaporeans will long remember the story of Inuka, the polar bear that captivated our hearts for 27 years in a way that no animal that is beyond our touch could ordinarily have.

Last week's release of The One And Only Inuka, magically illustrated by Quek Hong Shin with supporting text from Alan John, also brought home the message that "there will not be another polar bear like Inuka". That is not only because a polar bear born in the tropics is so rare but because Singapore, correctly, has decided it will not bring in any more of these animals, whose natural home is the Arctic region.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 30, 2018, with the headline 'Inuka, and the saga of Toto'. Print Edition | Subscribe