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Maryland Zoo polar bear 'Alaska' dies 15 Jan 2013 "Alaska," a Maryland Zoo polar bear that had been rescued from a Mexican circus a decade ago, was euthanized Tuesday after suffering from kidney failure, zoo officials said. The female bear had been confiscated in Puerto Rico by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents in March 2002 after the circus abandoned her there. When she arrived at the zoo soon after, animal keepers found that she was deaf, overweight and had poor muscle tone, but they nursed her to health and developed a training program using hand signals and other visual cues.