Polar bear moves into Como ZooComo Zoo’s polar bears just got a housemate. Buzz & Neil are now sharing their outdoor habitat with Berlin, the female polar bear displaced by the flooding at Duluth’s Lake Superior Zoo in June. Berlin has been behind the scenes of Como’s Polar Bear Odyssey Exhibit and not on public display until now.
Como Zoo’s polar bears just got a housemate. Buzz & Neil are now sharing their outdoor habitat with Berlin, the female polar bear displaced by the flooding at Duluth’s Lake Superior Zoo in June. Berlin has been behind the scenes of Como’s Polar Bear Odyssey Exhibit and not on public display until now.
“We are excited Como visitors can now be introduced to Lake Superior Zoo’s bear, Berlin”, said Michelle Furrer, Director of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. “We’re very happy the Lake Superior Zoo is open and we encourage people to visit and support our friends in Duluth”.
Before being on public display and meeting Buzz and Neil, Berlin had to complete a 30-day quarantine period, a standard procedure for all incoming zoo animals. Once her quarantine period was over, zookeepers began introducing her to Buzz and Neil.
The process of introducing polar bears takes time and patience. Thanks to the superior design of Polar Bear Odyssey, which opened in 2010, all initial introductions were able to take place behind-the-scenes in a safe and comfortable environment for the bears. Berlin was first introduced to Neil, then Buzz a few days later. Because Buzz and Neil, both males, are neutered, breeding is not possible.
Berlin, along with two harbor seals, came to Como Zoo after the Lake Superior Zoo flooded last June. The harbor seals, Feisty and Vivian, are doing well and are on public display in the Aquatic Animal Building. It is still not clear how long the animals will stay.
In the meantime, Lake Superior Zoo keepers and staff are keeping in contact with the staff at the Como Zoo and have visited the animals often since the flood.
“It has been amazing to watch Berlin have the opportunity to experience things that weren’t available in her exhibit at our Zoo,” Lake Superior Zoo Lead Keeper Maicie Sykes states. “We miss Feisty, Vivian and Berlin, but we are grateful the staff at the Como Zoo continues to work with us on a professional level and allows us to be involved in their care,” continues Sykes.
Meanwhile, Polar Bear Odyssey’s “guest room” is still occupied by Goldie, Sandy, and Judy – the three bears from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, North Dakota who are waiting for repairs to be made to their own flood-damaged exhibit. “We’re really fortunate that the improved design of Polar Bear Odyssey made it possible to help out our zoo friends”, Furrer says.
Como Friends, the nonprofit fund raising partner of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, is encouraging its supporters and Minnesota residents to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts of the Lake Superior Zoo by making donations on the Lake Superior Zoo’s GiveMN.org page, http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Lake-Superior-Zoological-Society.