May

12

Polar Bear Cub Makes Public Debut at the Toledo Zoo

Posted May 12th, 2016 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest, General Interests, Toledo.com

 

TOLEDO, Ohio — It has been a long winter wait, but the time has finally arrived: The female polar bear cub is now on public exhibit in the Arctic Encounter® at the Toledo Zoo! Staff chose to name the cub, born on December 3, 2015, Hope after Point Hope, Alaska part of the known polar bear range and to represent optimism for the future of the endangered species. Hope will join her parents, Crystal and Marty, along with Nan, another adult female polar bear on a rotating schedule dependent on the animals’ continued well-being (Crystal & Hope 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Marty & Nan 4 p.m. – close) in the state-of-the-art exhibit on the north side of the Zoo beginning tomorrow, Friday, May 6.

Hope is the seventh polar bear cub born at the Toledo Zoo since 2006. She is an important ambassador for her imperiled species, as climate change is drastically reducing the Arctic sea ice polar bears in the wild depend on for survival. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as a vulnerable species and as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Prior to her public debut, Hope achieved several important milestones behind-the-scenes under the watchful eye of her mother and animal care staff. In mid-March, mother and cub emerged from the den. Shortly after, the pair went outdoors to the “dig yard” where Hope got to explore mounds of soft sand and dirt and enrichment items, including a spool and boomer balls, for the first time. Next, an insert was placed in the exhibit pool to make the water shallower and enable the cub to safely learn to swim. The last step before debut was the cub’s introduction to the entire public exhibit.
“From incredibly positive past experiences, we know that Zoo visitors will enjoy watching Hope grow and learn. It is our sincere hope that she will also inspire our guests to evaluate the simple changes they can make in their everyday lives to protect the habitat of her wild counterparts and ensure polar bears persist for future generations,” said Toledo Zoo’s executive director, Jeff Sailer.

Please note, as is common with young animals, activity levels are unpredictable. Any deviation from the schedule stated above will be posted on the Zoo’s “visit” page. More information, including videos, can be found at toledozoo.org/cub.

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Andi Norman - The Toledo Zoo

andi.norman@toledozoo.org | toledozoo.org | 419-385-5721 ext. 2098 No Comments »

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