Point Defiance Zoo polar bear diagnosed with liver cancer

Image 1 of 8

TACOMA, Wash. — A polar bear at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has been diagnosed with liver cancer.

Blizzard arrived at Point Defiance Zoo in 1997 as a 15-month-old orphaned cub after he was separated from his mother in Canada.

Now 25 years old, Blizzard will receive chemotherapy treatment and other care to slow the progression of cancer.

Dr. Karen Wolf, the zoo’s head veterinarian, said Blizzard had elevated liver enzymes on his recent bloodwork and showed signs of nausea.

After an abdominal ultrasound and biopsies, the liver cancer was confirmed.

“Blizzard is such an extraordinary bear and a beloved member of our zoo family,” Wolf said. “We have cared for him since he arrived as a cub and will continue to do everything we can to treat him for this disease and keep him comfortable.”

Polar bears are designated as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and face a high risk of global extinction.