Sadness over Snow

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Sadness over Snow

CREATED Sep. 4, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Animal lovers are reacting to the death of one that was especially easy to love: Snow, the polar bear at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo.

Snow seemed to have died in her sleep sometime before zookeepers found her dead Monday morning.  The Zoo says U of A's Pathology Department may have preliminary information on the cause in maybe another two days.
But for now, people who loved the polar bear are learning to cope with her loss.

Snow's empty habitat left kids puzzled, and parents making gentle attempts to explain the big white bear that was not longer there.

Lucy McIntosh said to her daughter as they looked at Snow's usual place, "She's not hiding.  She doesn't live there anymore."

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked McIntosh:"What's it like explaining this to a child?" She said, "It's not really easy, seeing as how she's looking for something there and there's nothing to be seen.  I read her the sign but she's kind of young to understand death and that whole situation so.."

The aaaah factor was huge when Snow and her brother Klondike were born at the Denver Zoo.  Their mother rejected them so the Denver Zoo raised them by hand.
Denver had so many polar bears Snow and Klondike moved to SeaWorld in Orlando. After about sixteen years in Florida Snow moved to Reid Park to see if Arizona's climate could cure a skin condition.
The skin condition cleared up, but Snow had a variety of other health problems.

Craig Smith asked zoo-goer, and polar bear fan, Marlenee Quihuis:"What is it about the polar bears that makes them so popular?

Quihuis said, "They just have that sweet nature, face, and the swimming.  They remind me of a big, gentle child."   

Quihuis wanted to bring flowers for snow but she didn't know if that would be okay with the zoo.   That sort of thing is okay.  Sometimes people send flowers to zookeepers who worked with an animal that died.  And people are offering tributes to Snow and favorite pictures on the Reid Park Zoo Facebook page.