PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — PETA is blaming a broken heart for the death of a polar bear.
The animal rights organization says the animal’s long-time companion lives at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
In a statement, PETA says Szenja died at SeaWorld San Diego after her companion, Snowflake, was sent to the Pittsburgh Zoo. But officials have not said how long ago that transfer happened.
The statement reads in full:
“Szenja died of a broken heart, PETA believes. After losing her companion of 20 years when SeaWorld shipped Snowflake to the Pittsburgh Zoo in order to breed more miserable polar bears, Szenja did what anyone would do when they lose all hope, she gave up. This should be a wake-up call to SeaWorld: Stop breeding and shipping animals around, close the animal exhibits, and retire the animals to sanctuaries. Until it does, this ship will keep sinking.”
Szenja, a 21-year-old female, died Tuesday. Caregivers said she has had a loss of appetite and energy for about a week.
A necropsy is planned, but the park says it could be several weeks before the cause of her death is known.
Szenja was born at a zoo in Germany in 1995. Two years later, she was brought to SeaWorld when the park opened its Wild Arctic exhibit.
Polar bears can live about 18 years in the wild and 20 to 30 years or more in captivity.
KDKA is reaching out the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to ask for comment.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)