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North Carolina Zoo welcomes new polar bear in the hopes of having cubs

Posted on 01/25/21

The North Carolina Zoo is welcoming a new polar bear as part of its breeding program.

The 1,000-pound male named Payton is from the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee, according to the North Carolina Zoo. As soon as the 17-year-old gets a clean bill of health from the veterinarians, he will be introduced to the Zoo's female polar bear, Anana.

The bears are expected to meet around Valentine's Day, the zoo said. The polar bear breeding season is usually from February to April.

Payton is replacing Nikita, the Zoo's male polar bear who arrived in 2016, but hasn't had any cubs with Anana in five years. Nikita is moving to Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.

Anana is 22 years old and came from the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York.

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