ASHEBORO, NC – Saturday, Jan. 30, the North Carolina Zoo will reopen to the public after being closed for a few days due to ice and snow from winter storms.

“It is going to be an exciting weekend at the Zoo. We are reopening with a polar splash. Zoo visitors may get a chance to see Nikita our new playful polar bear,” said Pat Simmons, Director of the N.C. Zoo.

This weekend, Nikita, the Zoo’s new male polar bear will be on exhibit to the public for the first time.

Nikita, who is 9-years old arrived at the N.C. Zoo earlier this month from the Kansas City Zoo. Throughout the weekend Zoo visitors may see Nikita and Anana, who is the Zoo’s other polar bear. Both polar bears will be in separate exhibits and there is a chance that they will be visible by the public or off exhibit in their holding areas.

After this weekend, Zoo visitors may not see the polar bears on exhibit, for a couple of weeks due to zookeepers introducing the animals to each other behind the scenes. Eventually, zookeepers hope to pair Nikita and Anana in the same exhibit.

In a few weeks, the Zoo will have a welcome party for Nikita. During the party media outlets will be invited to take pictures and record video of Nikita. Details about the party will be release soon. The following link is video of Nikita enjoying his new home at the N.C. Zoo


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit