Celebration of Lyutyik’s birthday and the life of Ahpun in Alaska

Jan 21st, 2018 | By | Category: Alaska

21.1.2018 – Source: The Alaska Zoo, Photos by John Gomes

Our beloved polar bear, Ahpun passed away on the 31st of December 2017.

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Zoo staff had the privilege of taking care of her since her arrival as a cub in 1998.

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Patrick Lampi with Ahpun

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We have amazing memories of her growing up at the Alaska Zoo, first with Oreo and then living as an adult with Lyutyik, our male polar bear.

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We are devastated with this loss as are zoo supporters near and far. Ahpun was in good condition and had given no indication of poor health at anytime leading up to her death. A necropsy was performed by veterinary staff and we are awaiting final results and cause of death.

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We know Ahpun was well-loved by our community, so this year’s Polar Bear Birthday also included a celebration of life for her at the zoo on January 20th, 2018 from 11am to 1pm.

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This time Ahpun wasn’t sharing the cake with Lyutyik.

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The event included s’mores at the polar bear habitat and enrichment for our male polar bear Lyutyik. While it was very difficult for staff, volunteers and visitors to hold this event without Ahpun there, we will continue pressing on for the good of Lyutyik and all of our zoo animal family. We rely on the support and strength of the community during hard times like these.

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We had a slideshow featuring images of Ahpun over the years by John Gomes. This is the tribute to Ahpun that was playing in the Gateway building of the Alaska Zoo.

Ahpun Memorial – Slideshow with photos and videos

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  1. Dear John,

    Thank you so much for your permission to publish your beautiful tribute to Ahpun even in Knuti’s Weekly!

    It was a great idea go combine Lyutyik’s birthday celebration with a celebration of Ahpun’s life! She was such a lovely polar bear.

    I hope Lyutyik will remain healthy and have a happy life in Alaska even when he lost his companion. I even wish all the best to you, Pat Lampi and all the stuff in the Alaska Zoo!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Dear Mervi and John!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful tribute to beautiful Ahpun, who passed away much too early. The pics by John and especially the slide show are incredibly cute, touching and heartwarming.

    Ahpun was a lovely and beloved polar bear lady. She was rescued as a cub and has been saved from certain death. She was brought up with tender loving care, had a good life in the Alaska Zoo and has been loved the whole time.

    The photos of her and Lyutyik illustrate they were not just friends but a love couple, a dream couple like Giovanna and Yoghi. Like Mervi I wish Lyutyik all the best!

    My heartfelt sympathy goes to the Alaska Zoo and the staff who took care of Ahpun.
    Maybe it´s a small comfort that so many wonderful memories remain.


  3. Schöne Aufnahmen !
    Das Bild mit dem
    Blümchen ist mein
    Favorit – aber die
    gemeinsamen Fotos
    sind auch sehr niedlich.

  4. Dear Mervi and John and Pat
    The story of Ahpun and Lyutyik is both
    sad and happy.
    Losing Ahpun has been a tragic blow but
    her life at Alaska Zoo has been a celebration.
    I am sure that Lyutyik will continue to be
    loved and cared for. Alaska Zoo will have
    all our thoughts.

  5. Liebe Mervi,

    es rührt mich sehr, wie der Zoo anlässlich der Geburtstagsfeier für Lyutyik auch seiner
    nun leider verstorbenen Gefährtin Aphun so liebevoll gedenkt.
    Die “begehbare” Geburtstagstorte ist beeindruckend groß und farbenfroh gestaltet.

    Danke auch ganz besonders an John Gomes für die wundervollen Fotos zur
    Erinnerung an APHUN!

    Die besten Wünsche für Lyutyik und dir, liebe Mervi, herzliche Grüße!

  6. Liebe Mervi und lieber John,
    ein großer Verlust für den Zoo und es ist anrührend zu sehen, wie sie in die Geburtstagsfeier mit einbezogen
    Vielen Dank für diesen Tribute an eine geliebte Bärin.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  7. Liebe Mervi, lieber John,

    Es tut mir leid, dass Aphun gestorben ist.
    Die Erinnerungsbilder sind wunderschön. Besonders niedlich sind die Bilder, als Aphun noch ganz klein war.
    Ich wünsche Lyutyik alles Gute für ihre ZUkunft.

    Danke für diese schöne Erinnerungsseite.

    Liebe Grüße

  8. R:I:P Ahpun.
    Danke fuer schöne Fotos.


  9. Dear Mervi and John!
    Thank you for the wonderful pictures of Ahpun. It is very hard to lose suddenly a beloved animal. I am very sorry that Ahpun passed away.
    Lyutyik got the huge cake.

  10. Thanks a lot for the great pictures of a wonderful bear, dear Mervi and John !
    I am so sorry to read, that she suddenly passed away.

    I send all my best wishes to the Alaska Zoo.

    Hugs Inge

  11. And not to forget – all the best wishes for Lyutyik.

  12. Dear MERVI – Thank you very much for having brought this report and touching pictures to us.
    I myself had made a collection of pics I could have find in the net and among JOHN GOMES’
    amazingly wonderful photos – and was simply waiting for the report of the ‘big party’.

    But it’s even better you made the report yourself. And I am convinced averybody has got the link to JOHN GOMES’ site where are lots of more beautiful and touching pics of AHPUN e.g. together with LYUTYIK to be found.

    Thanks and greetings also got to THE ALAKA ZOO AND to PAT LAMPI and last not least to JOHN GOMES.