Local News

NC Zoo gets new polar bear

Posted January 7

Nikita has been moved from the Kansas City Zoo to the North Carolina Zoo.
Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The North Carolina Zoo has added a male polar bear, and officials said they hope it will breed with the female polar bear already at the zoo.

Nine-year-old Nikita came to the zoo in Asheboro from the Kansas City Zoo, where he had been since 2010. His move was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan Program, which manages animal populations in zoos.

"We are honored and thrilled that our zoo was chosen to be Nikita’s new home," N.C. Zoo director Pat Simmons said in a statement. "Hopefully, we can breed Anana and Nikita. Our polar bear habitat is designed to maximize the chance of breeding Nikita and Anana. Polar bears tend to breed in the winter, so Nikita’s arrival is perfect timing."

Anana, a 16-year-old female polar bear, has been at the N.C. Zoo since September 2014 after more than a dozen years at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

Nikita has been placed into the zoo’s polar bear holding quarters so zookeepers can see how he acclimates to his new surroundings before making a decision on when he can be viewed by the public, officials said.

"So far, Nikita is adjusting well to his new home," Ken Reininger, animal curator at the N.C. Zoo, said in a statement.

5 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Chase Truman Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    You don't know this bear's story. There is a firm chance that this bear has never lived in the wild, or was rehabbed and deemed not releaseable to the wild. If it is the latter, then it is at least living out its life in respectable zoos where the public gets to be educated on the need for conservation, is participating in a species survival plan where it can possibly help increase the polar bear population, and they can become ambassadors for their species. Good zoos are not a bad place... they serve a great purpose.

  • Susan Harward Jan 8, 2016
    user avatar

    Why can't people leave these beautiful animals where they belong.

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Jan 7, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    i guess and i am sure that is why the last one died prematurely.

  • Montel Burnette Jan 7, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Well thats the reason zoos have artificial habitats

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Jan 7, 2016
    user avatar

    from the way he looks, he isn't too thrilled to know that the NC summers get really hot. having a polar bear in the south sounds completely illogical to me. but what do i know?