Asheboro, NC –  The North Carolina Zoo is inviting the public to help name a wild polar bear it has recently adopted through Polar Bears International (PBI).  The wild, female polar bear is living with her two cubs in the Western Hudson Bay area of Canada.

PBI is the leading polar bear conservation group in the world solely dedicated to conserving wild polar bears and their threatened Arctic environment.  The North Carolina Zoo has served as an official Arctic Ambassador Center for PBI since 2009. The Zoo is among an elite group of 40 zoos, aquariums and museums that partner with PBI on conservation efforts.

Every fall, up to ten female polar bears in the wild are fitted with GPS collars to continually track their movements. This collaring program through PBI has been active in this region for several decades, providing one of the best long-term monitoring datasets for female polar bears in the world. Collars last up to one year, dropping off automatically on a pre-programmed date.        

PBI displays the bear’s movements online for the public to follow on their free Polar Bear Tracker. The North Carolina Zoo’s bear is Polar Bear ID X33805. She is a female with two cubs – a boy and a girl.  The tracker is updated once a week, usually on Monday, from October to July each year.

The North Carolina Zoo is also home to a breeding pair of polar bears: female Anana and male Nikita. The pair have yet to produce an offspring.

Polar bear populations in the wild are considered ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Help the North Carolina Zoo name our wild female polar bear! The names to vote on were chosen by zookeepers and are a collection of Inuit and Native American names and North Carolina themes. 

Yura – Inuit for ‘one who is beautiful’

Sakari – Native American for “sweet’

Carolina - for our home state

Tapeesa– Inuit for ‘Arctic flower’

Hope – for hope for the polar bears’ future

Voting opens at Noon Wed., Nov. 14 and closes Monday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. The online poll can be accessed through the Zoo’s website at or through the Zoo’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There is no charge to select a name.

The winning name will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 20.