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Sea World's 'Much-Loved' Polar Bear Liya Has Died Unexpectedly

Liya, the Russian-born polar bear who spent most of her life on the Gold Coast, has died at age 19.

Sea World announced the sad news on their Facebook page, writing that Liya had "passed away unexpectedly at Polar Bear Shores on Saturday night".

Liya had lived at Sea World for the past 18 years and leaves behind her two cubs, Mishka and Henry, who live on the Gold Coast and in Canada, respectively.

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"The animals at Sea World are like family and Liya will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her," the park's tribute read.

"In her 18 years at Sea World, she has helped generations of park guests gain a better appreciation for Polar Bears and the marine environment."

Image: Facebook.

"The Sea World team thank you for your support during this difficult time," the statement continued. 

Polar bears have a life expectancy of 15- 18 years in the wild, although some bears have been tagged by biologists in their early 30s.

The Guinness Book of Records named a polar bear in Canada as the oldest of her species in 2008.

That bear, Debby, was born in 1966 and lived at a zoo in Winnipeg, Canada until she died at 42 years old. 

Main Image: Facebook/Sea World.