As we mourn the death of Gus the Central Park Zoo polar bear, there's news about the future of the polar bear exhibit: It seems it may not have polar bears in the future.

The NY Times reports, "The zoo has not decided whether it will try to find a polar bear at another zoo to occupy Gus’s habitat. It might instead select a different species to go there, like a seal."

Gus became a national sensation when he would swim laps in his pool for hours, prompting armchair therapists to deem him "depressed." An actual therapist determined he was just bored. From the NY Times in 1994:

Gus, insists Allison Power, the zoo spokeswoman, "is actually healthy. It's just a mild neurosis." JUST A MILD NEUROSIS? CALL YOURSELF A NEW YORKER AND ALL YOU GOT IS A MILD NEUROSIS?

LIKE so many aspiring to the big time, Gus is not really a native New Yorker, but came here from somewhere else, specifically, Toledo, Ohio, which is in the Midwest. Officials at the Toledo Zoo insisted that Gus, who is 8 years old, behaved normally when he lived there.

"He was perfectly fine," said Glenous Favata, then curator of mammals, who knew him as a young bear in the mid-1980's. "He was with his mother."


The zookeepers planned more enrichment games to spark Gus's interest, as well as the attention of the other bears, Lily and Ida, who passed away before Gus.

Here are some videos of Gus and Ida: