The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Coldilocks Had a Birthday

The oldest polar bear in America turned 36. Raw herring all around!

Coldilocks. Photo| Philadelphia Zoo

Coldilocks. Photo| Philadelphia Zoo

Like a lot of folks, we have a love/hate relationship with zoos. Animals are cool as all get-out, but animals behind bars make us kind of sad. We were reminded of this on Tuesday, when Coldilocks, the Philadelphia Zoo’s only polar bear, turned 36 years old. Coldilocks was born on December 13, 1980, at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, and in October of 1981 arrived at her pen at the Philly Zoo, where she’s been doing the backstroke ever since. You might recall the death last year of her pen-mate, Klondike, who had to be euthanized because of sickness and advanced age. Until her demise, Klondike held the record for the nation’s oldest polar bear.

And that’s the thing. In the wild, polar bears only live for 15 to 18 years. Thanks to great care and birthday treats like pumpkins and peanut butter, Coldilocks has now more than doubled that expected span. So despite our conflicted emotions, we wish her the happiest of birthdays. In her honor, and in memory of her frolics with Klondike, we don’t even mind the weekend’s snow.

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