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Buffalo Zoo part of three-way polar bear conservation swap

Henry Vilas Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is part of a three-way polar bear swap being undertaken to promote breeding within the declining population. Former Buffalo Zoo polar bear Anana recently arrived at her new home at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. She will be introduced to a male bear there named Little One.

A 3-year-old male polar bear named Sakari is now in Buffalo, where he will be introduced to the zoo's popular female bear Luna. He comes to Buffalo from the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, which received a female bear from Cincinnati.

Zoo leaders say the moves are being made to promote the conservation of the species, which has a low reproduction rate.

"It’s all part of a Species Survival Plan, which is a recommendation. The SSP is a part of the AZA, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and they decide where the best polar bear should be within zoos across the country," Buffalo Zoo communication specialist Christian Dobosiewicz told WBFO.

"By helping breed and save the population of polar bears within zoos across the country, it helps to educate the public about what happens in the wild to their companions."

Buffalo Zoo president Donna Fernandes say the institution is "proud to be a part of such a major undertaking." There are fewer than 70 polar bears in human care in North America.

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