The zoo, through conservation program Polar Bears International (PBI), has adopted a wild mother polar bear who lives in the Western Hudson Bay area of Canada, the zoo announced Wednesday.
The zoo in Asheboro is holding an online public poll to decide the name of the bear. The winning name will be announced on Nov. 20.
The name choices are:
▪ “Yura – Inuit for ‘one who is beautiful.’”
▪ “Sakari – Native American for ‘sweet.’”
▪ ”Carolina - For our home state.”
▪ “Tapeesa– Inuit for ‘Arctic flower’”
▪ ”Hope – For hope for the polar bears’ future.”
The zoo’s “adoption” of the mother bear is purely symbolic. She’s not leaving the wild and moving to North Carolina. According to PBI’s website, “adopting a polar bear is a sustainable and symbolic donation to PBI” and participation helps the group “fund research and education that helps us protect bears and their sea ice habitat.”
”PBI, “the leading polar bear conservation group in the world,” according to a news release from the zoo, “is dedicated to the protection of the wild polar bear species “and their threatened Arctic environment.”
Wild polar bears are considered a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Each fall, as many as 10 female polar bears in the wild “are fitted with GPS collars to continually track their movements,” according to the zoo’s release. The collars last up to a year before “dropping off automatically” at a pre-programmed time.
You can follow the polar bears’ movements using the PBI tracker.
The North Carolina Zoo’s adopted polar bear has ID No. X33805. The tracker updates once per week from October to July.
The North Carolina Zoo is home to a breeding pair of polar bears — Anana and Nikita.