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New polar bear makes his home in Winnipeg

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The new polar bear, which was brought in from Churchill, is currently in quarantine, waiting to enter the polar bear enclosure at Assiniboine Park Zoo.

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The new polar bear, which was brought in from Churchill, is currently in quarantine, waiting to enter the polar bear enclosure at Assiniboine Park Zoo. Photo Store

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has welcomed a new resident to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC).

On Oct. 9, a three-year-old wild polar bear was brought from Churchill to live in the Winnipeg facility. He was brought to the zoo after attacking a Churchill man in early September.

Dr. Brian Joseph, Assiniboine Park Zoo director of zoological operations, Dr. Chris Enright, head of veterinary services, and Gary Lunsford, general curator, all travelled to Churchill to accompany the bear to Winnipeg.

"The bear is doing well after making the trip from Churchill and is now comfortable in the IPBCC," said Enright. "We’ll now begin a slow process of transitioning him to life here at the Assiniboine Park Zoo."

The new polar bear is the first wild bear to make his home at the IPBCC and he’ll be the first wild bear to live in the Journey to Churchill exhibit. The new bear and Hudson, the zoo’s other polar bear, will not live in the same enclosure.

"The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre was created specifically for situations such as this, where we have a polar bear that, unfortunately, can’t be returned to the wild," said Joseph. "This bear will be an ambassador for its species and the threat to polar bears caused by climate change."

As the new bear adapts to his new surroundings he will be in quarantine for at least 30 days. Plans to name the new bear are in the works.

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