updated 8/21/2006 10:33:12 PM ET 2006-08-22T02:33:12

A polar bear operated on by the surgeon for Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro died just hours after surgery Monday.

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Dr. Dean Richardson operated on Alcor, a 750-pound bear with two badly broken bones just above his right paw, on Monday afternoon and stabilized the wrist during surgery with locking plates.

The bear had been stable and was waking from anesthesia on his way back to Ohio when he died, the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital said in a statement Monday night.

Alcor will be returned to the hospital to undergo a post-mortem, the New Bolton Center said.

Zoo officials do not know how Alcor broke his leg, but they suspect he did it Aug. 11 while playing with his brother Mizar, another 7-year-old bear who has been at the zoo since 2001. A vet at the Cleveland Zoo put Erie Zoo officials in touch with Richardson's medical team.

Barbaro broke three bones above and below his right rear ankle at the start of the Preakness in May. The Kentucky Derby-winning horse is recovering from surgery as well as laminitis in his left rear hoof.

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