Como Zoo welcomes new polar bear Nan to the family |

Como Zoo welcomes new polar bear Nan to the family

Helen Do
Updated: February 25, 2021 09:27 AM
Created: February 25, 2021 08:54 AM

Como Zoo is welcoming its newest resident to the group, a 26-year-old female polar bear named Nan, just in time for Saturday's International Polar Bear Day. 

After completing a mandatory quarantine period, the zoo said that Nan is slowly being introduced behind-the-scenes to Neil, Como's 25-year-old polar bear, and becoming acclimated to her new home at Como's Polar Bear Odyssey habitat.

While Neil and Nan are not a breeding couple, the zoo states they will provide each other with companionship and serve as excellent animal ambassadors for polar bears.  

Nan, short for the Inupiaq word Nanutaaq, which means young of a bear, was orphaned and discovered under a house in Barrow, Alaska. 

After wildlife authorities determined she was too young to survive in the wild on her own, Nan was placed under human care at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, where she resided for nearly five years before being transferred to the Toledo Zoo for 16 years, and the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago for four years. 

In January, a Como Friends donor provided Como's zookeepers' funding to travel and transport Nan to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nan to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory family," said Director Michelle Furrer. "Nan is an important ambassador for her threatened species. When people see and learn more about polar bears, it brings awareness of their plight in the wild."

If the public can't make it to Como to visit Nan today, they can get introduced to her on today's "Como Live," a virtual series funded by the Legacy Amendment that Como has offered since the beginning of COVID-19. 

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