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Zoo names new polar bear 'Kaska'

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Kaska, an eleven-month-old female polar bear cub, was orphaned after her mother was shot and killed in Churchill on Nov. 1.

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Kaska, an eleven-month-old female polar bear cub, was orphaned after her mother was shot and killed in Churchill on Nov. 1.

The newest addition to the bear family at the Assiniboine Park Zoo was given her name today.

Kaska, an orphaned 11-month-old female cub, arrived in Winnipeg on Nov. 19 after her mother was shot and killed on Nov. 1.

Kaska’s mother was shot by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship officers during a search for a bear that had attacked two people in Churchill.

Kaska’s name comes from the Kaskatamagan Wildlife Management Area, a region that lies within the First Nation community of Shamattawa and the York Factory First Nation Resource Management Area. The Zoo also consulted northern communities to decide the name.

"It’s very fitting for this cub to carry a name directly associated with the north and chosen by northern peoples," said Dr. Brian Joseph, director of zoological operations at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

"It’s a great way to acknowledge the origin of these animals and their significance to northern communities."

For now, Kaska is still in quarantine at the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre and is not available for public viewing. She will be joining the Zoo’s three other bears -- Hudson, Aurora and Storm -- when the Journey to Churchill Exhibit opens in the summer.

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