Get ready for a visit to the zoo! In the fall of 2011, Siku, a two-year-old polar bear cub will come to the Louisville Zoo from the Toledo Zoo. Siku’s name is pretty unique. It was chosen by children on the North Slope and is the Iñupiaq word for “ice”.
The cub comes to the Louisville zoo because of the facilities available to house him. Dr. Randi Meyerson is Curator of Mammals and Coordinator of the Polar Bear Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). He said, “It is a little sad when our animals leave, but the Louisville Zoo’s new Glacier Run bear habitat is an excellent facility with a lot of space, flexibility, animal-training and enrichment options. Siku, Qannik and Arki have a promising future there. They will play an important role as ambassadors for polar bears in the wild, and help inspire the public to decrease their carbon footprints.”
Glacier Run’s bear habitat debuted in April 2011. Glacier Run is set up like a town and is modeled after Churchill, Canada. Churchill is the polar bear capital of the world, so this seems fitting. When Siku first arrives, he will undergo a 30-day quarantee from zoo visitors and other animals. Eventually, the zoo hopes to mate Siku and Qannik.