A familiar face is now gone at one of Minnesota's favorite zoo's.

Over the weekend, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory passed along on their Facebook page the unfortunate news that Buzz, one of the polar bears, has passed away.

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Como’s beloved polar bear, Buzz. Buzz’s health declined due to suspected neurological issues and after all treatment options were exhausted with the animal care and veterinary team, the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the 24 year old bear was made.

Buzz, and twin brother Neil, were born December in 1995 at the Louisville Zoo and came to Como Zoo in 2001 from San Diego. They were named for the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Buzz enjoyed rolling in the dirt, patrolling the exhibit, and bossing around his brother. He was an active participant in the zoo’s operant conditioning training program and was the third polar bear in the country to allow zookeepers to draw blood voluntarily (Neil was the second).
Buzz has been a proud ambassador of conservation and will be missed by all. - Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Facebook Page

Buzz was truly a favorite at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and you can tell from all of the comments, photos, and memories that have been shared by visitors and fans.  I teared up a bit as I looked through the photos of little kids standing next to "their favorite animal" at Como.  He will truly be missed.  Browse through the images, comments, and feel free to add your own here.

To all who helped care for Buzz and to those who are missing him greatly, big virtual hugs from all of us at Townsquare Media in Rochester.

What's your favorite family-friendly activity in Minnesota?  Let me know over on my Facebook page (Jessica On The Radio) or DM me on Instagram.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM's Early Morning Show with James Rabe and Jessica Williams

AWWW: Check Out These Cute Dogs (And a Couple of Cats)

More From Y-105FM