Goodbye, beautiful Snow Lilly

Sep 26th, 2021 | By | Category: Featured articles

26.9.2021 – Photos by Michelle Rippey

It’s always sad to publish news of  a beloved polar bear’s death but Snow Lilly deserves to be remembered. She died on Friday, September 24.

When Michelle visited her in May 2021 she was happily swimming and diving. She was looking so good and agile considering her age.



Snow Lilly was born December 5, 1984 in the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, to Penny and Nicklee. She lived in the New York Bronx Zoo from 1985 to 2005. Her older sister Coldilocks died in 2019 at the age of 37.

You can read the whole story here:

Story of Snow Lilly by Molly Merrow, Photos by Michelle Rippey

The sweet lady loved the snow so her name was well chosen by her keepers.





On the 8th of December 2020 Snow Lilly celebrated her 36th birthday. Sadly it was her last birthday.

snow lily birthday card-1

snow lily box face

snow lily box









Dear Snow Lilly, you are now beyond pain and sorrow but we are mourning. However, I think we must also celebrate your long life. Sleep in peace!

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  1. I am so sorry. May Snow Lilly rest in peace. We will never forget her. We will always love her. We love you Snow Lilly.

  2. Schlaf gut, kleine Snow Lilly. Es ist immer traurig, wenn wir Abschied nehmen müssen.
    Ich kann mich noch gut an die Bilder von ihrem Wasserballett erinnern, da sah sie so jung aus.
    Ich glaube, sie hatte ein schönes Leben.

    Liebe Grüße,Erika

  3. A sad day. Polar bears get old, just like the rest of us, and cannot live forever, but we hoped Snow Lily would stay a bit longer. She brought so much joy to her visitors, and we will always keep her in our hearts. Thank you to Michelle for sharing so much of Snow Lily with us through her photos. I only met Snow Lily once, and I am so glad I make that trek to Milwaukee.


  4. Dear Michelle,

    thank you very much for the adorable photos for the 36th birthday of Snow Lily,
    who was still in May so agile and good looking.
    But unfortunately even bears don’t live forever and so she reminds us with her
    beautiful name of her snowy Arctic home.

    Rest in Peace withe Lady!

  5. Dear Mervi, Michelle and Molly!
    This is a wonderful photo series for her last birthday, which was so lovingly celebrated.

    How sad that Snow Lily had to be put out of her pain…
    We always wish for our beloved old animals that at the end of their lives they just go to sleep gently and without pain. But sadly, that rarely happens. Putting her to sleep was an act of love.

    Now, in my imagination, she wanders the eternal ice fields healthy and happy with many other polar bears we knew and loved.

    It is sad that she passed away, but it is wonderful that she was there! Of course she will be sorely missed.
    My deepest sympathy goes to her keepers and all who loved her!


  6. Dear Michelle and Mervi
    Thank you (and Molly Merrow) for allowing us to see how beautiful Snow Lily was.
    Critics of Zoos seem to forget the fate of all animals in the
    wild at the end of their lives is usually a harsh one.
    Snow Lily was released by her human carers. Like Anke I always imagine Polar Bears free to roam the snowfields where
    hunger and pain no longer exist.

  7. Dear Michelle and Mervi,
    it is very sad to let the beloved animal go. Snow Lily had a nice time in the zoo.
    Thank you for the wonderful pictures.

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