ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo will welcome a new polar bear this winter.
Nikita, an 8-year-old male polar bear at the Kansas City (Mo.) Zoo, is relocating to Asheboro in the coming months to be paired with Anana, the N.C. Zoo’s 15-year-old female polar bear.
Nikita’s move comes at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan Program, which manages specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population, the N.C. Zoo said in a news release.
Less than 20 percent of AZA-accredited zoos have polar bears and only 60 polar bears are on exhibit in the United States. This means that all polar bears in zoos are genetically important for the species.
Anana was moved to Asheboro last September, where she’ll remain until construction on the Lincoln Park Zoo’s polar bear exhibit is completed.