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North Carolina Zoo reopens Saturday with new polar bear on exhibit

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ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo will reopen to the public Saturday after being closed for a few days due to ice and snow from winter storms.

“It is going to be an exciting weekend at the zoo. We are reopening with a polar splash. Zoo visitors may get a chance to see Nikita, our new playful polar bear,” said Pat Simmons, director of the N.C. Zoo, in a news release on Friday.

This weekend, Nikita, the zoo’s new male polar bear, will be on exhibit to the public for the first time.

Nikita, who is 9 years old, arrived at the N.C. Zoo earlier this month from the Kansas City Zoo. Throughout the weekend, zoo visitors may see Nikita and Anana, who is the zoo’s other polar bear.

Both polar bears will be in separate exhibits and there is a chance that they will be visible by the public or off exhibit in their holding areas.

After this weekend, zoo visitors may not see the polar bears on exhibit for a couple of weeks due to zookeepers introducing the animals to each other behind the scenes. Eventually, zookeepers hope to pair Nikita and Anana in the same exhibit.

In a few weeks, the zoo will have a welcome party for Nikita. Details about the party will be released soon.