Inuka, The First Singaporean Polar Bear Who Has A Legacy Of His Own

When we first heard the news that Inuka might be put to sleep soon, we died a bit inside.

Zookeepers noticed that he has been rather inactive as of late, preferring to rest and passing up opportunities for swim sessions.

Perhaps Inuka’s age-related general muscle atrophy is suspected to be the culprit behind his listlessness.

At the ripe old age of 27 – surpassing the average lifespan of a polar bear in captivity which is 25 years – he sure has lived a long life.

He would be 70 years old in polar bear years.

In honour of Inuka’s legacy at the Singapore Zoo, here are some fun facts about him.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Inuka, a cuddly crowd favourite

Inuka is a Singaporean polar bear born on 26 December 1990.


Weighing only 350g at birth – Inuka weighed approximately 550kg in 2015 – almost 9 times the weight of an average person.

Inuka got his name from a nationwide naming contest, which means ‘silent stalker’ in Inuit, btw.

He is known to be a real crowd pleaser, doing tricks and wading elegantly in the water.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

When he’s not entertaining the crowd, he plays with ‘enrichment toys’ and goes for swim sessions.


He turned 27 on December 26 2017, which he celebrated with an agar-agar dessert cake topped with Norwegian salmon.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

A feast fit for a king.

Inuka has the Singaporean foodie DNA in him — he enjoys treats like peanut butter, and even ice kachang.


He eats 10kg of food a day. Evidently, his appetite is as huge as that slab of raw fish.

Inuka lives in the Frozen Tundra exhibit — his neighbours being raccoon dogs and wolverines.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Once, Singapore’s humid climate caused algae to grow in Inuka’s coat, tainting his fur green.

Fortunately, a bleach treatment managed to restore his fur to its pristine glory.


Zookeepers and visitors commonly describe Inuka as a lively and bubbly bear.

Although he has been less active as of late, which is probably related to his old age.

He’s currently receiving intensive treatment for his arthritis and muscular atrophy.

An upcoming review of his condition would then decide the subsequent course of action, according to Singapore Zoo.

Can’t bear to say goodbye

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Inuka wasn’t just a polar bear, he holds a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans.

Throughout the years, he has brought many smiles to fans who’ve adored him via the observatory.

While daily interaction sessions have been suspended, fans can still visit Inuka at Frozen Tundra.

We’re sure going to miss him, if it’s truly his time to go.

How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so difficult.

Inuka, you will live on in our hearts.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Featured image from Wildlife Reserves Singapore.