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Photos: Snow, polar bear made famous in Denver, dies in Tucson zoo

Circa the mid-1990s, there were no bigger stars in Denver than

Klondike and Snow, a pair of polar bears at the Denver Zoo

, where they were born and raised after their mom

abandoned

them.

The pair were eventually moved to other facilities, with Snow winding up at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, where she died yesterday at age seventeen. See photos and get details below.

Here's the note posted on the Reid Park Zoo Facebook page linked above:

We are very sad to announce that "Snow," the Zoo's seventeen-year-old polar bear, has died unexpectedly. She was discovered first thing this morning by her Zoo Keeper. She was in her normal sleeping position and location, with no signs of trauma.

The Zoo's veterinarian indicated that although she had chronic health issues, she was improving. She was swimming and eating well yesterday. We are proud of everything the Zoo staff did to provide Snow with a wonderful quality of life in Tucson. She will be missed.

The Denver Zoo also shared Snow's passing on Facebook, declaring it "very sad news."

In addition to the post above, the Reid Park Zoo shared a slew of Snow photos, including this one, whose caption reads, "Snow's last morning, rolling around in the grass, 9/2/2012."

Snow's last morning in Denver took place back in 1995, and our Patricia Calhoun found the media coverage it received to be excessive, as she explained in a column headlined "Klondike and Snow Job." She wrote:

It would be impossible to dream up the endless amounts of attention accorded Klondike and Snow, from their birth (okay, okay, hand-raised cubs are rare) to their first walks to last week's almost round-the-clock coverage of their imminent departure for Florida. The crates they would fly in. The frozen fish they would snack on. The zoo personnel who would accompany them. The sobbing children they would leave behind...and, of course, the gaping holes their departure would leave on TV newscasts.

Nonetheless, an entire generation of Coloradans have fond memories of the polar pair, even all these years later.

Here are more Snow photos, courtesy of the Red Park Zoo.

Continue to see more photos of Snow posted after her death. Continue to see more photos of Snow posted after her death.

More from our News archive: "Effing cute Amur leopard baby now visible to guests at the Denver Zoo."

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