Polar Bears Now Sharing Habitat at Alaska Zoo
Cranbeary (left) and Lyutyik continue to interact with one another after being intriuced for the first time on January 31 at the Alaska Zoo.
ANCHORAGE–The Alaska Zoo’s newest resident Cranbeary, a 16-year-old female bear, met her potential mate Lyutyik for the first time Thursday, January 31, and initial signs point to the two being a great pair.
Lyutyik has been without a companion since December 2017. Cranbeary moved from the Denver Zoo to be a potential mate for the Alaska Zoo’s Lyutyik in October 2018. It is important for bears to be paired with a breeding partner in order to produce genetically diverse offspring. Currently, there are only 44 polar bears in North American zoos, and the species faces increasing threats in the wild.
“We are glad to see the bears are becoming companions and know the community is going to be excited to see Cranbeary and Lyutyik playing together,” said Pat Lampi, executive director of the Alaska Zoo.
Photos and videos of Cranbeary and Lyutyik can be found on the Alaska Zoo’s Facebook page.
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Few large foundations support “the general good” or social service projects in Alaska, so the Last Frontier has a pretty thin philanthropic layer, according to United Way of Anchorage Vice President Cassandra Stalzer. However, the oil and gas industry has a history of stepping in and filling the gaps in Alaska communities by providing money and volunteers for myriad charitable efforts in the state.