Published December 27, 2012
Buenos Aires – The Buenos Aires zoo's only polar bear, Winner, died earlier this week due to the high temperatures that have been affecting the Argentine capital, the zoological park's animal welfare director, Miguel Rivolta, said.
"Winner died from excessive heat. The high temperatures were the determining (factor)," the veterinarian said.
Buenos Aires registered a high of 36.7 C (98 F) on Monday, with the heat index hitting 45.5 C (nearly 114 F), the weather service said.
Zoo officials have not ruled out the possibility that the Christmas Eve fireworks in the capital may have caused "a spell of nervousness" for the bear, Rivolta said.
The 16-year-old Winner, who was healthy, was known for being extremely nervous and the high temperatures combined with the noise from the fireworks may have affected his normal body temperature and killed him, Rivolta said.