Tierpark Animal News

Tragic news from the Tierpark

Our little polar bear Fritz has died.

On Monday evening, he succumbed to a liver inflammation. Vet Dr Andreas Pauly and keeper Jeane Falkenberg were tending to the sick little bear in the Tierpark’s clinic. At around 7:30 p.m. Fritz’s breathing became irregular and the vet administered a respiratory stimulant. Fritz was also given oxygen and a cardiac massage, but unfortunately none of those measures helped. At 8 p.m. he was declared dead.  

This morning, physicians at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research are performing an autopsy on Fritz’s body.

“We can hardly believe it. We are devastated. It’s incredible how fond we had become of that little polar bear,” said Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem.  


Fritz’s mother Tonja (now aged seven) gave birth to her first offspring at Tierpark Berlin on 3 November 2016. Fritz was the first baby polar bear at Tierpark Berlin in 22 years. His father is five-year-old Wolodja, who is currently on show at Zoo Berlin.

At 8 o’clock yesterday morning, the polar bear keepers found four-month-old Fritz lying listlessly in the den he shared with his mother Tonja. The vets, curators and keepers immediately advised that mother and cub be separated so that Fritz could be examined more closely.

Fritz was moved to the neighbouring Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), where he underwent hours of intense examination. Initial ultrasounds, CT scans and X-ray examinations returned no clear findings; and bacterial results from the stool test are still outstanding. The blood tests showed worrying liver readings. As a result, Fritz was treated with antibiotics and painkillers.