Live from New York, it’s Kali the Bear!
After a cross-country flight last week, Kali the orphaned polar bear cub was a bit tired, but seemed no worse for the wear.
He remained calm and alert during the trip from Anchorage to Buffalo, and enjoyed his regular feedings inflight.
|Watch Kali play with Luna!|
Four northeast region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees were on hand Wednesday morning to welcome the zoo’s newest resident. The Service has official responsibility and ownership of Kali, because polar bears are a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
Tom Roster, refuge manager at nearby Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge; Kofi Fynn-Aikins, project leader at Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office; Scott Saunders, fisheries biologist; and D.J. Monette, Northeast Region Native American liaison, attended the press event.
“We arrived early and the director of the zoo gave us a special tour. We got to see Kali, a cute little cub,” said Fynn-Aikins, who spoke at the event on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kali will soon be sharing space with another polar bear cub, a female named Luna. “The zoo director told us that through their sense of smell and vocalizations that the two cubs are aware of each other,” said Fynn-Aikins.
But before they are introduced, Kali will get some rest without visitors to give him a chance to adjust to his new surroundings. Caretakers also want to observe him to make sure the stress from the trip did not trigger any medical issues.
Meanwhile, Luna entertained at the press conference, which was held in front of her enclosure. “She was having a lot of fun playing. She stole the show from us!” said Fynn-Aikins.
Kali is not the first polar bear cub rescued from the Northern Slope of Alaska and moved to the Lower 48. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service previously joined forces with the Alaska Zoo and UPS in 2011 to move “Qannik” — Inupiat for “snowflake” — to the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky.