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Former Milwaukee County Zoo polar bear dies

Posted: 6:25 PM, Jan 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-14 00:26:49Z

MILWAUKEE -- A polar bear that called the Milwaukee County Zoo home for more than two decades has died of cancer, the Zoo announced Wednesday.

The news was shared via a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon:

It’s with great sadness that the Zoo announces the passing of polar bear Zero. The 26-year-old male polar bear was born...

Posted by Milwaukee County Zoo on  Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Zero, 26, was born in the zoo in 1989 but was transferred to Rochester, New York in 2010 for breeding purposes.

Zoo visitors left touching tributes to Zero on the Facebook post.

"Zero was a favorite of mine, inspiring me as a child to enter the field of animal care and conservation education," wrote Erika Allen. "I am lucky enough to work with polar bears now as an adult."

"I loved him then and loved all his antics and how often he almost 'played' with the zookeepers," added Pat Molitor.

The Seneca Park Zoo also shared dozens of photos of Zero in a memorial post.