Polar Bear Cub Headed to Buffalo, NY Zoo
ANCHORAGE - The orphaned polar bear cub that will spend the rest of its life in captivity is headed to Buffalo Zoo in New York this spring, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The cub is named Kali, which is the Inupiat name for Point Lay. The two-to-three-month-old male is being cared for at the Alaska Zoo after a hunter killed its mother near Point Lay last week.
Buffalo Zoo officials want to introduce Kali to a female cub that's also being raised in captivity there. Polar bear experts say both cubs would benefit from each other's company during this important period in their development.
Normally a polar bear cub lives with its mother for three to four years, according to the executive director of the Alaska Zoo, Patrick Lampi.
“A lot of times it will have a sibling that it's raised with, so it's a great idea if there is the opportunity to put two cubs together for the companionship…you can't beat that, that's what they really need,” he said.
Officials say the St. Louis Zoo is a possible final destination for the cub, because it's building a state-of-the-art polar bear exhibit that’s expected to be completed in 2015.
For now, though, the bear cub resides at the Alaska Zoo, and the public is invited to visit Kali beginning tomorrow. Kali will be allowed into an outdoor pen between 11 a.m. and noon, and between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.