A Tribute to Debby, The Oldest Polar Bear in the World

Debby, our beloved polar bear, the pride and joy of Winnipeg’s Zoo is gone forever.
She came to Winnipeg in 1967 as a young cub and stayed here her whole life. She holds a Guiness Book record for the oldest polar bear in the world.
Debby was 42 when her major organs failed and she had to be put to sleep.
We all miss her terribly and a celebration of her long life is planned for this coming Saturday. I’m pretty sure most of us will go to say good bye.
Our Zoo will never be the same without Debby.

She will live in our hearts and I believe her spirit will always fly freely around Assiniboine Park.

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A Tribute to Debby, The Oldest Polar Bear in the World by 


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I’m married to a wonderful man for over 35 years. I have one daughter and one grandson. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. Photography is my passion as is travelling. I do both whenever I can.

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  • Heather  Rivet  IPA
    Heather Rivet...over 5 years ago

    sad..I have been there a few time..:(

  • Thank you sweetie. I so enjoyed photographing her and now she’s gone.

    – Teresa Zieba

    MICKSPIXPHOTOSover 5 years ago
    It is sad, Teresa, but, at least she was preserved by your beautiful image. No one could have done a better job of recording her and thereby keeping a part of her around for ever.
  • Thank you Mike for your wonderful words. You made me feel better my dear friend. I just can’t imagine going to our zoo and not visiting her and I guess from now on I will have to get used to it.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Cheryl Dunning
    Cheryl Dunningover 5 years ago

    true very true Teresa. I will miss her dearly.

  • Me too. Thanks Cheryl.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Elaine  Manley
    Elaine Manleyover 5 years ago

    awww that is so sad .. she had a great long life ..RIP Debbie xx

  • Yes, she did. Thank you Lucinda.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 5 years ago

    this is a lovely tribute to our beautiful Debby, hon. I am so glad you did this for her. We all loved and adored her and enjoyed the years of visits she gave us and many photos. I think she liked all the visitors that came to see her and take her picture. Well done and said. Hugs Vickie

  • Thank you sweetheart. I feel so sad and can’t imagine going to the zoo and not seeing her anymore. Hugs, Tenia

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Geoffrey
    Geoffreyover 5 years ago

    A true passing of an era.
    I will miss the Grand Old Dame of the Zoo.
    I feel for the keepers, I know they loved her so.

  • Caring for someone that long and losing the war at the end is not something one can forget soon. At least they know she is not in pain anymore and I’ve seen her suffering in the last months of her life. She lost so much weight and was unstable on her feet. I could hardly recognize our Debby and it was so hard to watch her fading.
    Thanks Geoffrey.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Mark Cosgriff
    Mark Cosgriffover 5 years ago

    a sad loss but better to think about all she gave to your community during her long life.

  • Thank you Mark. I try to think about her this way but it’s still hard.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaover 5 years ago

    Beautiful tribute Teresa.

  • Thank you Al. She will be missed.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Torfinn
    Torfinnover 5 years ago

    Great tribute, and fractal work. Well done!

  • Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind comment.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • LeslieBattjes
    LeslieBattjesover 5 years ago

    Oh, Teresa…I’m so sorry :(

  • Thank you so much Leslie.

    – Teresa Zieba

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