The condition of Sea World’s oldest Polar bear Kanook has rapidly declined over the past few days leaving Marine Sciences staff concerned for her imminent future.

Sea World vets plan to anaesthetise the matriarch of Polar Bear Shores Wednesday afternoon to investigate the progression of her kidney failure through a series of medical procedures.

Due to the sudden and quick deterioration in Kanook’s health, vets anticipate the tests will reveal that the disease has advanced considerably.

As all decisions will be based on Kanook’s quality of life it is probable she will be euthanased while under the anaesthetic to spare her any suffering.

Kanook was initially diagnosed with kidney failure April 2003 during a routine health check. At the time of diagnosis her general health was good and it was only required she be treated with intermittent steroids under the care of Sea World vets.

Over the past four days Kanook has become extremely lethargic, experienced laboured breathing and has lost considerable weight, all of which are symptoms associated with progression of the disease.

Sea World will update the public and media late Wednesday afternoon with test results as soon as they are known.