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Polar bear cubs likely on exhibit before Christmas

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If your Christmas wish is to see the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s youngest polar bears before the year is up, it will likely come true.

Zoo representatives anticipate the two youngest of the four bears residing in the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) will make their public debuts sometime in the next two weeks.

Aurora and Kaska, two approximately year-old orphaned female cubs, are currently in separate mandatory quarantine situations.

The hope is to have the two cubs on exhibit prior to the Christmas holidays.

The IPBCC is home to four polar bears. Hudson, a two-year-old male, was born in captivity in the Toronto Zoo and was moved to the Assiniboine Park Zoo last January.

The other three bears —- Storm, a three-year-old male, and both Aurora and Kaska — came from Churchill and were deemed to be at risk by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.

Storm made his public debut at the zoo on Dec. 1 after arriving on Oct. 10. He had attacked a man in Churchill but officials decided not to euthanize him and he was moved to Winnipeg.

Aurora was brought to the IPBCC on Oct. 28 after she was found wandering alone near the Churchill airport. Kaska arrived at the IPBCC on Nov. 19 after her mother was shot and killed Nov. 1 in Churchill during a search for a bear that had attacked two people.

The zoo’s 10-acre, $26-million Journey to Churchill exhibit is expected to be open next summer.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

 

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