Willie, the North Carolina Zoological Park's 28-year-old male polar bear, was euthanized this week after becoming lethargic and not eating during his stay at the Milwaukee County Zoo amid renovations to his home exhibit. A veterinary exam found fluid in his abdomen, and a necropsy is planned. After being rescued from poor conditions in a traveling show from Mexico, Willie did well in North Carolina. "He served as a great ambassador for polar bears in the wild by helping people appreciate polar bears up close," said Jeff Owen of the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro. "He really reached people."

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