Special delivery: Polar bear cubs soon for Cincinnati Zoo?

Special delivery: Polar bear cubs soon for Cincinnati Zoo?
Anana the polar bear may give birth at the Cincinnati Zoo (Photo: Cincinnati Zoo)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden might be getting a special delivery just in time for Christmas.

Their polar bear, Anana, might be expecting just months after breeding with Little One.

Volunteers are keeping close watch because there’s apparently no pregnancy test for polar bears.

It’s been more than 25 years since we’ve had polar bear cubs at the Cincinnati Zoo, and the population of polar bears throughout North American Zoos is declining," Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said in a news release earlier this year when the bears breeded.

"Anana has produced cubs in the past, so we’re hoping that she and Little One, who is a genetically valuable male and thought to be fertile, will be able to reproduce,” he said.

The Zoo welcomed 17-year-old Anana in November of 2016, in time for last year’s breeding season.

Unfortunately, the season came and went without the bears getting within ten feet of each other, zoo officials said.

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The animal care team stepped in and made some modifications that seemed to make Anana more comfortable in her habitat.

“It’s such a relief to see this behavior shift and to know that our observations and modifications made a difference,” said head polar bear keeper Lisa Vollmer earlier this year, according to the news release.

“I have worked with 12 polar bears during my 30 years at the Cincinnati Zoo, and I continue to be awestruck by them. To see Little One and Anana getting along so well now after their rough start together makes all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it.”

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