12/02/2014 05:30 GMT | Updated 12/02/2014 10:59 GMT

Anton The Polar Bear Dies After Swallowing A Jacket At Wilhelma Zoo In Stuttgart

A polar bear has died at a German zoo after apparently swallowing a jacket or handbag which was accidentally dropped into his enclosure.

25-year-old Anton started vomiting pieces of fabric before dying on Monday of severe intestinal injuries, the Associated Press reports.

Keepers at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart said it was unclear why the bear had eaten the item instead of just tearing it apart, leading them to suspect there was some sort of food in it.

anton polar bear

Anton the polar bear died on Monday

According to The Local, Anton is not the first animal to die at the zoo under these circumstances.

A hippo called Egon died several years ago of an intestinal obstruction after swallowing a tennis ball and Charly, the last elephant seal in the zoo, died after swallowing a teddy bear.

It comes just days after a zoo in Denmark killed a healthy baby giraffe because of rules imposed by a European zoo association to deter inbreeding.

Marius was put down using a bolt pistol and his meat was fed to carnivores in Copenhagen Zoo, despite a wave of online protests to save him.

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