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Polar Bear Packs His Bags for a Move at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 23, 2020 6:10 pm

polar bear move columbus

Lee the polar bear at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Grahm S. Jones.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, USA are preparing to farewell their polar bear, Lee as he moves to another zoo. His new home will be announced at a later date, it is a facility which is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Lee is a 20 year old polar bear. He has called the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium home since 2018 when he arrived from Denver Zoo. In his time at the zoo he has fathered a cub known as Kulu who will remain at the with mum Aurora. Her twin sister, Anana will also remain at the zoo.

“Though it’s always hard to say good-bye to a member of our Zoo family, we remain committed to our important role in collaborative programs working to protect the future of this threatened species. We are very proud of the success of the polar bear breeding program at the Columbus Zoo, as well as the knowledge and expertise that our care team continues to contribute to the scientific community and our conservation partners,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Stalf.

polar bear move columbus

Lee the polar bear at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Amanda Carberry.

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Lee will be accompanied on the journey to his new home by Two Columbus Zoo animal care team members, two facilities team members, and a staff veterinarian.

The move has been recommended by the AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program managed by the AZA to maximize the genetic diversity and increase the population sustainability of threatened and endangered species in human care. At his new home Lee will act as a companion for their resident female.

This will also create room to allow for the potential arrival of a new male polar bear in the future. The arrival of a new male will require a recommendation from the SSP.

polar bear move columbus

Lee the polar bear at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Grahm S. Jones.

Polar bears are endangered in the wild. They were first listed as part of the Endangered Species Act in 2008 and were the first species added to the list as a result of climate change. Polar bears are native to the circumpolar north, including the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark (Greenland). Populations are decreasing with as few as 20,000-25,000 estimated to remain in the wild.

The Colombus Zoo and Aquarium has contributed $280,000 to the survival of the polar bear in the wild.

Learn more about polar bears here – Polar Bear Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on their website – Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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