– First polar bear born in the tropics undergoes annual health-check.

Singapore, 4 November 2013 – As Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s 22 year old polar bear entered his senior years, Singapore Zoo’s vet team performed a health check on him under general anesthesia on 9 October 2013. The first polar bear to be born in the tropics was found to be in general good health for his age. He currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 532kg.

The hour-long medical examination included dental, aural and paw checks. Blood results show no abnormality in his kidneys and liver. There are some warty growths on the underside of his tongue, and a biopsy has been done to confirm if they are benign and can be left alone. Inuka’s teeth also needed some attention, which was to be expected at his age. X-rays of his lower limbs confirmed what his vets have suspected for some time; that he has mild arthritis on his ankle and right wrist joints. The vets will prescribe medications as required, to manage his arthritis.

After the examination, Inuka was revived with a reverse sedative and allowed to recuperate in his den. Within two days, he was back to basking in his ice cave and in no time was paddling in his pool, at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra.

A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.

A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.

Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.

Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.

Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!

Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!