ASHEBORO, NC – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, people visiting the North Carolina Zoo this weekend may have an opportunity to see the Zoo’s male polar bear Nikita and his female companion Anana in the same exhibit together.

“Nikita’s move from the Kansas City Zoo to our Zoo was based on a breeding recommendation from AZA’s Species Survival Plan Program,” said Pat Simmons, Director of the N.C. Zoo. “Hopefully, we can breed Anana and Nikita. We are thrilled to provide people with the rare opportunity to see two polar bears together.”

Nikita and Anana are still going through an introduction period, which is Zookeepers’ way of making sure that the polar bears are adjusting well as they become more familiar with each other. Since the introduction process is underway, there is a chance that the polar bears may or may not be visible by the public.  

The following link is video that shows how well Nikita and Anana are getting along

Less than 20 percent of AZA-accredited zoos have polar bears and only 60 polar bears are on exhibit in the United States. This means that all polar bears in zoos are genetically significant for the species.

About the North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo provides an experience like no other zoo anywhere. With five miles of exhibits, nearly 2,000 animals and 52,000 plants it is the largest natural habitat zoo in the world and an international leader in wildlife conservation.

Find yourself surrounded by some of Africa’s giants including elephants, rhinos, and giraffes; share the love of gorillas with Mosuba and his six-member troop; welcome polar bear Nikita as he joins Anana in polar plunges every day at their Rocky Coast Exhibit; or join in the fun at the mud café in the Kidzone.

Located in center of the state in Asheboro, it is convenient to visit from anywhere in North Carolina. The North Carolina Zoo welcomes nearly 750,000 guests each year. Plan your adventure at


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