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Orphaned Polar Bear Cub Flies UPS to the Buffalo Zoo


*Kali leaves the Alaska Zoo to join polar bear cub Luna at the Buffalo Zoo*
 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that Kali, the polar
bear cub rescued in March from the Point Lay area of Alaska, will leave the
Alaska Zoo on May 14, arriving at New York’s Buffalo Zoo on May 15. Kali
(pronounced Cully, the Inupiat name for Point Lay), a 65-pound cub, will
join young female cub Luna where both cubs will benefit from each other’s
company. Under the care of Alaska Zoo staff Kali has adjusted well to his
surroundings, more than tripling in size and weight.
“The Alaska Zoo has done a tremendous job of providing excellent, temporary
care for Kali,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “I would like to personally
thank the zoo for stepping up – at moment’s notice – to care for this cub.
Now, as Kali leaves Alaska for his next short-term home, we are confident
that the Buffalo Zoo will provide the best of care for Kali as the Service
makes a final determination on a permanent home for the cub.”
On March 12, the Service received word that a female polar bear had been
shot near Point Lay, Alaska. The adult female was accompanied by a cub,
which was transferred first to the community of Point Lay, and then to the
North Slope Borough’s Department of Wildlife Management in Barrow, Alaska.
After the cub was examined and observed to be in good condition, the
Service asked the Alaska Zoo to temporarily care for it. Alaska Airlines
flew the cub to Anchorage where it was met by Service and Alaska Zoo staff.
“The Alaska Zoo is proud of its long history of partnering with the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service to provide a home for orphaned and abandoned
wildlife,” said Alaska Zoo Director Pat Lampi. “The zoo’s staff has more
than 100 years of direct staff experience in raising rescued polar bear
Dubbed “Operation Kali,” Kali’s trip from Anchorage to Buffalo has been
arranged and funded by M&T Bank, one of the Buffalo Zoo’s long-standing
corporate sponsors. Kali will be accompanied by Alaska Zoo Executive
Director Patrick Lampi and Zoo Curator Shannon Jensen along with Dr. Kurt
Volle, a veterinarian with the Buffalo Zoo. Kali and crew will take off
from Anchorage for Buffalo, New York, on a UPS 747- 400 jet on May 14 at
3:09 pm and will arrive in Buffalo on May 15 at 5:16 am after a short
layover and plane change at Worldport, UPS’s international air hub in
Louisville, Kentucky. On the Louisville to Buffalo leg, Kali will fly
aboard a UPS 767, newly fitted with fuel-saving winglets. The 4,400-mile
door-to-door time from the Alaska Zoo to the Buffalo Zoo is estimated at 14
hours. Kali’s crate will be the last item loaded on the plane and the first
item unloaded. The veterinarian will check on the cub during the flight.
Dr. Donna Fernandes, president of the Buffalo Zoo, will greet the Alaskan
contingent upon arrival in Buffalo. The cubs will be exhibited together at
the zoo once Kali reaches Buffalo.
“We are thrilled to receive Kali,” said Fernandes. “Recovery of orphaned
cubs is one of the reasons we are building our new polar bear habitat,
Arctic Edge. Both cubs will benefit immensely from the opportunity to play
with one another to ensure that they learn to be bears and not become too
attached to human caretakers.”
“As the Buffalo Zoo moves forward with its plans for a new world-class
polar bear exhibit, we're excited to help bring Kali to Buffalo to join
Luna, allowing our neighbors to enjoy learning more about these amazing
animals,” said M&T Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Information
Officer Michele Trolli.
Kali’s journey from the Arctic coastal plain to the Alaska Zoo to the
Buffalo Zoo is the result of collaboration among the people of Point Lay,
the North Slope Borough, the North Slope Borough Police Department, the
Alaska Zoo, Alaska Airlines, the Buffalo Zoo, M&T Bank, United Parcel
Service, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Polar Bear
Species Survival Plan® (SSP) management group and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
The Service will make a final determination on a permanent home for the
polar bear cub based on consideration of multiple criteria, including staff
experience and expertise, quality of facilities, and the age, sex and
temperament of bears currently in the zoo’s collection. Zoos have been an
important partner for the conservation of many species, and as climate
change continues to threaten polar bear habitat the Service will work
closely with the AZA, the Polar Bear SSP and zoos across the country to
ensure the proper placement and care of any additional polar bear cubs that
may need future care.
For more information about polar bear conservation, visit
About the Alaska Zoo
The mission of the Alaska Zoo is to promote the conservation of Arctic,
sub-Arctic and like climate species through education, research and
community enrichment. The Zoo opened its doors in 1969 and for forty-four
years has provided or found homes for the orphaned, injured and abandoned
wildlife of Alaska. The zoo is open daily, year-round. We are proud of our
long history of service to the wildlife and people of our State. The Alaska
Zoo is a private, self-sustaining nonprofit. Visit us at: www.alaskazoo.org*
About the Buffalo Zoo
Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the United
States. Each year, the Buffalo Zoo welcomes approximately 450,000 visitors
and is the second largest tourist attraction in Western New York, second
only to Niagara Falls. Located on 23.5 acres of Frederick Law Olmsted’s
beautiful Delaware Park, the Zoo provides interactive and educational
family entertainment throughout the year. With a diverse collection of wild
and exotic animals and more than 320 different species of plants, visitors
are introduced to and engulfed by nature each time they visit. For more
information, photos and to follow Kali as he gets settled, visit
About M&T Bank
M&T Bank was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1856, and is one of the top
20 independent commercial bank holding companies in the U.S. M&T serves
customers at more than 725 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.*
About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of
solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the
facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced
technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered
in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
The company can be found on the Web at UPS.com and its corporate blog can
be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit
About the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others
to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their
habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a
leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our
scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources,
dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more
information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets
at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at
http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at
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