The N.C. Zoo will reopen Saturday with a new resident - Nikita, a male polar bear.
The zoo shut down for several days because of ice and snow from this month's winter storms. But it's reopening just in time for Nikita to be on exhibit to the public for the first time.
"It's going to be an exciting weekend at the zoo. We are reopening with a polar splash. Zoo visitors may get a chance to see Nikita, our new playful polar bear,” said Pat Simmons, zoo director in a press release.
Nikita, who is nine years old, arrived at the N.C. Zoo earlier this month from the Kansas City Zoo, according to a press release. Throughout the weekend, zoo visitors may be able to see both Nikita and Anana, the Zoo’s other polar bear. At some times, they could be off exhibit in their holding areas. Both polar bears will be in separate exhibits.
After this weekend, the polar bears may not be on exhibit for a couple of weeks as zookeepers introduce them to each other behind the scenes. Eventually, zookeepers hope to pair Nikita and Anana in the same exhibit, the release said.
Stay tuned for more details about a welcome party the zoo will hold for Nikita in a few weeks. The zoo's Facebook page has video of Nikita checking out his new home.
The zoo, in Asheboro, is about 90 minutes from the Triangle.