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Polar Bear Arrives Safely at North Carolina Zoo

Posted on 11/21/2013

Asheboro, NC — Patches the polar bear arrived safely at the North Carolina Zoo Wednesday evening, but it could be a number of days before she is on public view.

The 25-year-old female bear arrived via truck from the Erie (Pa.) Zoo escorted by a N.C. Zoo veterinarian and a senior keeper. Placed into the zoo’s polar bear holding quarters, keepers will see how she acclimates to her new surroundings before making a decision on when she will be on exhibit.

“The date for reopening the polar bear exhibit to the public is not yet determined and will be considered soon as we monitor how Patches settles into her daily routine,” said Jeff Owen, keeper supervisor for the zoo’s Rocky Coast mammals who assisted in bringing  Patches to Asheboro.

The N.C. Zoo worked for many months with the Polar Bear Species Survival Program (SSP) of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service to acquire bears for its polar bear habitat which has been undergoing an $8.5 million renovation and expansion over the past two years.

Born in November 1987 at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, Patches was moved to the Erie Zoo in December 2007. The Erie Zoo is about to embark on its own major construction project of its own and needed to move Patches to a new home.

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

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