Berlin Zoo loses last polar bear as Katjuscha dies
Polar bear Katyusha yawns inside its enclosure. Berlin Zoo has no more of its famous polar bears after Katjuscha passed away at the age of 37, a decade on from the death of star attraction Knut. Maurizio Gambarini/dpa

Berlin Zoo has no more of its famous polar bears after Katjuscha passed away at the age of 37, a decade on from the death of star attraction Knut.

Katjuscha, Europe's oldest polar bear, was found dead by keepers in her outdoor enclosure on December 24, the Zoo announced on Monday. Polar bears normally live for 25 to 30 years. Katjuscha had heart problems and had long needed treatment.

"How we move forward with the polar bear enclosure at Berlin Zoo will be decided in the coming weeks," a statement said.

Two polar bears live at Berlin's second zoo, the Tierpark, which is in the east of the city and is owned by the same company.

Katjusha was born in Karlsruhe Zoo in 1984 and came to Berlin after a year. She did not raise her own offspring.

She had lived together with Knut, who became a symbol of Berlin after being hand-reared by keepers following his birth in 2006.

He was one of the biggest stars in the zoo's history and the whole of Germany was in shock when he died suddenly in 2011 with a brain problem.