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Zoo unveils Hudson the polar bear

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It didn’t take long for the newest star of the Assiniboine Park Zoo to start basking in the spotlight.

Within moments of hearing the cheers and applause as he was unveiled to Winnipeggers for the first time, Hudson, the 16-month polar bear who recently arrived from Toronto, was getting up close and (almost) personal with his new fans.

Hudson wasted no time in playfully running back and forth along the inner fence separating him from about 100 watchers, occasionally batting around a plastic orange ball.

Zoo officials also showcased some of the trained behaviours Hudson has learned over the past two-and-a-half weeks, such as coming when called and lying down, and then rewarded him with meat treats.

Hudson arrived two weeks ago via cargo jet and is adapting well to his new surroundings, according to zoo officials.

"He’s very relaxed in his new home and he certainly loves the snow and winter weather," said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations at the zoo.

Hudson brings the zoo’s polar bear population back to one. He’s the first of his breed to live at the zoo since Debby died a couple of years ago.

The outdoor enclosure at the IPBCC has been renovated and expanded to specifically accommodate polar bears and is three times its original size.

History

Updated on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM CST: Adds new photo of Hudson in Winnipeg.

February 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM: Updates story.

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