Alaska Zoo Welcomes New Female Polar Bear Resident
Cranbeary, the Alaska Zoo's latest addition, is a sixteen-year-old female polar bear.
ANCHORAGE—At the recommendation of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan®, the Alaska Zoo is welcoming a new polar bear from the Denver Zoo this month. The Alaska Zoo will care for Cranbeary, a sixteen-year-old female, with the goal of eventually pairing her with Lyutyik, the Alaska Zoo’s male polar bear.
“The Alaska Zoo is grateful that our participation in the Polar Bear Species Survival Program is bringing Lyutyik a companion,” said Pat Lampi Executive Director of the Alaska Zoo. “We are excited to welcome Cranbeary and get her settled into her new home over the coming months.”
The decision to relocate Cranbeary from the Denver Zoo will benefit the welfare of both Cranbeary and Lyutyik, and contributes to efforts to ensure the long-term well-being and security of the polar bear species. Since the Alaska Zoo lost its beloved female polar bear Ahpun in December 2017, Lyutyik has been without a companion. It is important for bears to be paired with diverse breeding partners in order to produce genetically diverse offspring. There are currently only forty-four polar bears in North American zoos, and the species faces an increase of threats in the wild.
Cranbeary will arrive in Alaska in October, but she will not be available for public viewing right away. She will undergo a period of quarantine—standard with all new animal arrivals—to adjust to her new surroundings and acclimate in a calm, controlled environment. Zoo veterinarians support her current transfer, and she will be monitored closely during the transition and after her arrival. Cranbeary will be housed in the Alaska Zoo’s newly completed maternity den while she adjusts. A web-cam link will be provided to the public at the appropriate time so people can begin getting to know her during her acclimation.