A multi-zoo polar bear shuffle involves a Wisconsin zoo. Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo will welcome Berit, a new female polar bear. She’ll replace Sakari, a male bear who has safely arrived at the Buffalo Zoo, taking the place of Anana, who moved to the Cincinnati Zoo. Sakari is brother to Suka, who will share the Vilas zoo’s Arctic Passage habitat with Berit. The multi-zoo shuffle took place based on recommendations by the polar bear Species Survival Plan, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ advisory group that manages the polar bear population in North American Zoos.
Berit, a 17-year-old female, has been at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for 16 years. AZA and the polar bear SSP recommended the trade when it became clear that Berit and her mate, 26-year-old Little One, were not going to produce offspring. 17-year-old Anana, who has been deemed a breeding match for Little One by the polar bear SSP, moves from Buffalo to Cincinnati to join Little One in hopes that they will produce cubs in the near future. Sakari will join Anana’s cub, Luna, at the Buffalo Zoo to be a companion and possibly a future mate.