Hudson the polar bear arrives in Winnipeg
Assiniboine Park Zoo says 15-month-old polar bear arrived 'safe and sound'
The Assiniboine Park Zoo welcomed its newest member Tuesday, when a 15-month-old polar bear arrived from the Toronto Zoo.
Hudson arrived in Winnipeg safe and sound at around 2 a.m. CT, according to zoo officials.
The bear was flown in from Toronto and ushered into his temporary home in the zoo’s International Polar Bear Conservation Centre, where he will spend the next 30 days in quarantine.
"He's very, very used to people, and so the stress on him was pretty minimal," said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations.
"In fact, he slept on the flight here, so you can't get really any more relaxed than that."
Assiniboine Park Zoo had been without a polar bear since its long-time resident, Debby, died in 2008 at age 42.
The zoo was not able to get another polar bear because its enclosure no longer met provincial standards. That served as the impetus for the $26-million Journey to Churchill exhibit, which is currently under construction.
Hudson will be the first inhabitant for the Journey to Churchill exhibit, slated to open in 2014.
It will be 20 times larger than the enclosure that housed Debby and will include underwater and above-ground viewing opportunities to enable visitors to come face to face with up to six bears.
Officials have not yet released a date when Hudson will be available for viewing, but for now, the male polar bear is working on adapting to his new home.