Memphis Zoo Welcomes New Male Polar Bear For New Breeding Opportunities
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Memphis Zoo Welcomes New Male Polar Bear For New Breeding Opportunities

Memphis, TN- {January 28, 2021} Memphis Zoo is thrilled to welcome a new male polar bear to the Zoo and Northwest Passage.

16-year-old Koda joins us from Pittsburgh Zoo where he has lived since 2006. Koda was born at Denver Zoo in 2004. It will be a reunion between Koda and our Senior Veterinarian Dr. Felicia Knightly who was in Denver when Koda was born.

 Koda’s move to Memphis was recommended by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Program or "SSP".  SSPs are comprised by a group of individual representatives from members zoos that work together to ensure genetically healthy, diverse, and self-sustaining populations of threatened and endangered species. Koda will be paired with our female bear, Haley.  Koda replaces Payton, the Zoo's male polar bear who arrived in 2004 but did not produce a cub.

Polar bear breeding is incredibly important since these bears are considered vulnerable in the wild.

In the United States, there are only 11 breeding polar bear pairs.  For the species to survive, it is imperative that organizations like Memphis Zoo continue to help breed polar bears.  Since there are limitations the zoos in the U.S. have agreed to move polar bears around the country to see if mixing up the bear “dating pool” could result in the birth of cubs. Polar bear breeding season usually takes place in early spring.