AboutZoos, Since 2008


First orphaned polar bear cub arrived at Assini­boine Park Zoo’s IPBCC

pub­lished 03 Novem­ber 2013 | mod­i­fied 03 Novem­ber 2014

An orphaned polar bear cub has been trans­ferred to the Inter­na­tional Polar Bear Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre (IPBCC) at the Assini­boine Park Zoo on 28 Octo­ber as part of a res­cue oper­a­tion with Man­i­toba Con­ser­va­tion and Water Stewardship.

Assiniboine polarbearcubThis was the first such cub iden­ti­fied as a can­di­date for the IPBCC facil­ity, that opened at Assini­boine Park Zoo on 23 Jan­u­ary 2012. Nat­ural resource offi­cers found the 38-​kg, 11-​month old female cub a few days ear­lier near the Churchill air­port. There are no known instances of an orphaned cub of that size sur­viv­ing in the wild on its own.

Dr. Brian Joseph, Direc­tor of Zoo­log­i­cal Oper­a­tions at the Assini­boine Park Zoo and Dr. Chris Enright, Head of Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices, trav­elled to Churchill on 27 Octo­ber and accom­pa­nied the polar bear cub to Win­nipeg a day later.

The IPBCC was built for exactly this pur­pose — to house and tran­si­tion orphaned polar bear cubs that would oth­er­wise not sur­vive on their own
Don Peterkin, Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer, Assini­boine Park Conservancy »

“Obvi­ously we pre­fer that all polar bears remain in the wild, but we’re happy to say a facil­ity such as this is now avail­able for polar bears where this is their only chance for sur­vival and can pro­vide a new home for this cub.”

“Man­i­toba has been recog­nised as a world leader in the pro­tec­tion of polar bears, which are listed as a threat­ened species in Man­i­toba,” said Min­is­ter of Con­ser­va­tion & Water Stew­ard­ship, Gord Mack­in­tosh. “This orphaned cub will have the best and most spe­cialised care avail­able in the world to ensure it thrives at in its new home.”

After the bear arrived at the Assini­boine Park Zoo, she went into quar­an­tine for the stan­dard 30 day period and will be off-​exhibit to the pub­lic and media dur­ing that time.

As you can see the polar bear is com­fort­ably set­tling into her new home less than 24 hours after arriv­ing on 28 October:

Assiniboine polarbearcub intubAssiniboine polarbearcub diving

Assiniboine JourneytoChurchillThe Gov­ern­ment of Man­i­toba has invested more than $30 mil­lion for the ‘Jour­ney to Churchill’ exhibit cur­rently under con­struc­tion at the Assini­boine Park Zoo — and sched­uled to open in sum­mer 2014 — as part of the Assini­boine Park Conservancy’s over­all $200 mil­lion rede­vel­op­ment plan. A main com­po­nent of the exhibit, the IPBCC as a state-​of-​the-​art facil­ity allows the zoo to more actively con­tribute to envi­ron­men­tal and wildlife edu­ca­tion, research, and con­ser­va­tion and serves a vari­ety of func­tions, includ­ing hous­ing and tran­si­tion­ing orphaned and at-​risk polar bear from north­ern Manitoba.

(Source: Assini­boine Park Zoo news release, 28.10.2013)

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