Relationship heating up between NC Zoo's polar bears; officials hope for cub
Posted April 15, 2016
Asheboro, N.C. — Don’t let their names fool you: Things are heating up between two polar bears at the North Carolina Zoo.
Polar bears Nikita and Anana are engaged in a season of courtship that zoo officials hope will result in a cub, the zoo said on Friday. Nikita was moved to the Asheboro zoo in January.
In a statement, Zoo Director Pat Simmons said, “I am thrilled with the progress of the relationship developing between Nikita and Anana. It is not often that zoo visitors can be a part of such an exciting experience.”
Zoo officials said the two bears are spending more time together and are tolerant of each other’s company.
In the wild, male polar bears only associate with females for the purpose of breeding, according to the zoo, and that typically occurs from March to June. In captivity, that timeline is moved up a few months to between March and April.
Breeding has not occurred, but, if it does, the zoo said 95 percent of polar bears born in captivity arrive in November and December.
There are only 60 polar bears on exhibit in the United States, according to the zoo.