Winnipeg zoo prepares for polar bear introduction

The Assinboine Park Zoo is preparing for a tricky introduction of new roommates.
Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo is preparing to introduce a polar bear that attacked a man in Churchill, Man. The wild bear will be a roommate to Hudson, the zoo-raised, people-adjusted polar bear already there. (Video courtesy: Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship) 0:41

The Assinboine Park Zoo is preparing for a tricky introduction of new roommates.

The polar bear that attacked a man in Churchill is being brought to the zoo in Winnipeg, and the wild bear must be introduced to the zoo-raised, people-adjusted, two-year-old Hudson.

Don Peterkin, chief operating officer of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said the introduction must be done slowly.

"You know, we have to try to take, sort of, the city boy and the country boy and very carefully do that introduction," he said.

At first the animals will be kept apart, but they will be aware of each other's scent in the zoo and will likely hear each other, too.

After some time, they will be placed in adjacent enclosures and months down the line, staff may introduce the two to see if they can live in the same enclosure.

Peterkin said with the different bear enclosures in the zoo's new Journey To Churchill Exhibit, the two bears can be separated if needed.

The zoo is taking in the three-year-old Churchill bear after conservation officials deemed it not fit for the wild following the attack in early September.

Instead of the bear being put down, it was decided to ship it to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at the zoo.

Currently, the bear is in the care of Manitoba Conservation in Churchill. He is expected to arrive in Winnipeg in a few weeks.​


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