ASHEBORO, NC – The North Carolina Zoo’s polar bear Patches, is gaining a roommate, so to speak. Anana, a 15-year-old, female polar bear at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, is relocating later this fall to Asheboro, where she will join Patches, the zoo’s 26-year-old female polar bear who arrived last November.

The move is temporary, as Anana will call the North Carolina Zoo home until construction on Lincoln Park Zoo’s polar bear exhibit is completed in 2016. Anana, whose name means “beautiful” in Inuit, was born at Seneca Park Zoo (Rochester, N.Y.) in November 1999. She arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo in 2001.

“We are delighted to welcome Anana from our friends at Lincoln Park Zoo,” said Dr. David Jones, director of the North Carolina Zoo. “She will be a star at the zoo and the newly expanded polar bear exhibit.”

On Aug. 23, there will be a “Goodbye Anana, Goodbye Summer” event for Anana at Lincoln Park Zoo. Shortly after that, she will be transported to the North Carolina Zoo as a part of the collaborative work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Her arrival will come around the same time as finishing touches are being made on North Carolina Zoo’s expanded polar bear exhibit. The new exhibit, which includes more than $8 million worth of renovations and expansion, is expected to open in October.  

Zoo staff continues to work with scientists at Polar Bears International to support research on polar bears in the wild and learn more about how a changing climate is impacting this iconic species.

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.