SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Hogle Zoo is welcoming a new member of the family; a five-year old female polar bear named Neva, sent to Utah from Maryland as part of the American Zoo Association's Species Survival Plan for polar bears.
Neva is doing well and slowly adjusting to her new home, according to Rocky Shores Animal Care Supervisor Kaleigh Jablonski, who says she's a very curious bear and zoo staff are enjoying getting to know her.
She was recommended to the Hogle Zoo by the SSP for polar bears as a potential mate for Nikita, who arrived at the zoo in January, 2021.
Zoo officials have high hopes for Neva and Nikita to interact well, though polar bears are often solitary animals. But because Neva has experience being around a male (she has a brother) they hope that once Neva adjusts to her new home, she'll get to know her 1,200 pound co-resident at Rocky Shores.
Polar bears in the wild are typically found along in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway, though they are experiencing a decline in population due to climate change, with scientists fearing they could face extinction by 2100.
Utah's Hogle Zoo, through its partnership with Polar Bears International, seeks to ensure their survival. For more information, go to PBI's website.