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NC Zoo getting new polar bear

Posted November 6, 2013

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— After two of its three polar bears died in recent weeks, North Carolina Zoo officials said Wednesday that another polar bear soon will be coming to the Asheboro zoo.

Patches, a 25-year-old female bear, will be transferred this month from the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania.

The N.C. Zoo has been working with the Polar Bear Species Survival Program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the National Marine Fisheries Service for some time to acquire bears for its polar bear habitat, which has been undergoing an $8.5 million renovation and expansion over the past two years, officials said.

The Erie Zoo is about to start its own major construction project and needed to find a new home for Patches, officials said, and the N.C. Zoo was chosen because of its updated facilities.

Aquila, a 21-year-old male, was found dead at the N.C. Zoo in September. Officials said the bear had a hernia, which led to a stomach rupture and its lungs collapsing.

Wilhelm, a 28-year-old male, died last month of unknown causes at the Millwaukee County Zoo, where he had been on loan since September 2011.

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  • Whookneww Nov 7, 2013

    Zoos are cruel!

  • VW girl 2013 Nov 7, 2013

    I love the NC Zoo and wish it was closer so I could go more often.

  • soapbox Nov 6, 2013

    Two NC Zoo polar bears have died already. Is it really necessary to subject another one to this punishment? Granted the facilities have been upgraded, but the AZA needs to start looking into why so many animals at the NC Zoo have died over the last couple of years.
    lovecary

    So many animals, you say? How many, exactly?

    The last polar bear that died was at the Milwaukee Zoo and had been since 2011. Kinda hard to see how the NC zoo was at fault. His name was Willie, by the way, and he had been rescued from a "decrepit" two-bit traveling zoo.

    I doubt he would agree with your assessment of the NC zoo.

    Aquila, the first NC polar bear to die, was 28 yrs old. That's getting up there for a polar bear, even one in captivity. Captive bears may live to their mid to late 30s but there's no guarantee of that.

    So what is your problem, exactly, with the NC Zoo?

  • lovecary Nov 6, 2013

    Two NC Zoo polar bears have died already. Is it really necessary to subject another one to this punishment? Granted the facilities have been upgraded, but the AZA needs to start looking into why so many animals at the NC Zoo have died over the last couple of years.

  • 37 Nov 6, 2013

    Yay! Polar bears are so cool. I hope she enjoys her new home.

  • happygirl14 Nov 6, 2013

    What a cutie.

  • Maxxx Nov 6, 2013

    great news

  • Vote for Pedro Nov 6, 2013

    Cool, great exhibit.

  • Shuffles24 Nov 6, 2013

    I hope Patches is like Patches O'Houlihan from Dodgeballs. "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!"

  • hollylama Nov 6, 2013

    POLAR bear