Manitoba

Winnipeg zoo's newest polar bear cubs named Blizzard, Star

Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo introduced its two newest polar bear cubs today and revealed their names, Blizzard and Star.
Assiniboine Park Zoo unveils the names of its two new polar bear cubs. Zoo visitors explain what they see as Brian Joseph, director of zoological operations, talks about where the cubs were found, their transition into the Journey to Churchill exhibit and what the cubs' chances would have been if they had remained abandoned in the wild. 1:33

Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo introduced its two newest polar bear cubs today and revealed their names, Blizzard and Star.

The brother and sister cubs, which arrived in September from northern Manitoba, made their first public appearance at the zoo's International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) after being quarantined for 30 days.

Brian Joseph, the zoo's director of zoological operations, says he's happy to finally introduce the orphaned cubs to the community.

"The bears have acclimated very well. They're incredibly confident little animals," Joseph said.

"The first thing they want to do when they get here, even before they're out of their crate, is have something to eat."

The 11-month-old cubs will make their temporary home in the zoo's old bear enclosures before they join the other polar bears —  Hudson, Storm, Aurora and Kaska — in the Journey to Churchill exhibit.

“They will remain on exhibit at the IPBCC for several months, growing and adjusting to their new home. When we feel they are ready we will begin the process of introducing them to our other bears,” Joseph said.

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      Officials with Manitoba Conservation made the decision to relocate the sibling cubs after they were spotted on the Hudson Bay coastline and a search for their mother was unsuccessful.

      Their names come from an online poll, which closed Wednesday. It asked people to choose from the following names for the male: Blizzard, Jack and Keewatin; and for the female: Crystal, Trinity and Star.

      The options were provided by students from three northern Manitoba schools located in the area where the cubs were found  Gillam School, George Saunders Memorial School, and Fox Lake School.