City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


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Since the death of his partner, GeeBee; Wang, the Zoo's only polar bear, has been very sad. Valentine's Day gave Zoo staff the opportunity to cheer him up.


JOHANNESBURG City Parks and Zoo staff took the opportunity on Valentine's Day to express their love for the Zoo's only polar bear, Wang.

Wang, the only living polar bear in Africa, has been sorely in need of cheering up since his partner of 27 years, GeeBee, died recently.

"Today is a very special day for Wang. As the partner’s not here, we thought 'let us organise something special for him to show that we still care and we still love him'," said Agnes Maluleko, Joburg Zoo and City Parks carnivore curator.

On Valentine's Day Zoo staff and his keepers decorated his meal with hearts and messages, saying "We love you Wang", and placed it away from his usual feeding spot to encourage him to take some time out.

Since GeeBee’s death Wang's appetite has decreased, and he spends most of his time in his night room. To encourage him to eat more, keepers offered him an apple box filled with meat; Wang sniffed the meat and settled on a boulder in his enclosure to devour his meal, delighting his visitors.

Wang also received a new toy, a hexagon ball worth R2 500, from Pioneer Plastics. The ball was filled with treats and kept him occupied for hours. Visitors and staff were glad to see him in such good cheer since the loss of his partner.

With only 10% of Wang’s liver functioning, he is not expected to be around for much longer. He will not be replaced as the climate in South Africa is not conducive for polar bear breeding.