SALT LAKE CITY — The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago shared an update Wednesday on how former Hogle Zoo polar bear Hope is faring in her new home.
Hope was relocated in January and spent the first few weeks getting acclimated to her habitat at the zoo's Great Bear Wilderness.
Recently, animal care staff have begun to allow Hope and the zoo's 14-year-old male polar bear, Hudson, to get to know each other.
The bears were first allowed to see and smell each other through mesh barriers before putting them together in one of the outdoor habitats.
Amy Roberts, senior curator of mammals for the Chicago Zoological Society, says the introduction process is going well. The bears have already been eating together and sleeping within close sight of each other.
“While the two bears are getting to know each other, guests may see them engaged in a variety of normal behaviors, including open-mouth displays, roaring, chuffing (a rapid jaw movement), and one bear following the other,” Roberts said in a press release.
In the fall, Hope will be given access to a private den in the chance she may be pregnant. The maternity den is designed specifically to replicate actual dens in the wild.
If she does give birth, animal care staff will monitor the cubs using cameras inside and outside of the den.
Hope’s transfer to Brookfield Zoo was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP).