Detroit Zoo Will Add New Polar Bear This Summer

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The polar bear exhibit at the Detroit Zoo is adding a new resident this summer. Tundra, a 29-year-old female polar bear, will be moving to Detroit from her current home at the Indianapolis Zoo sometime after June 22.

She’ll join the zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life exhibit along with the exhibit’s current residents, two female polar bears named Talini and Nuka.

Tundra’s 28-year-old exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo is being permanently closed, so she’ll be moved to Detroit in late summer. Tundra has resided at the Indianapolis Zoo since it opened its polar bear exhibit in 1988. Her home there features rocky ledges, a swimming pond, and underwater observation windows.

“The Arctic Ring of Life is an incredible facility for this polar bear to spend the remainder of her golden years,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).  “She will receive the best possible care during her time here and enjoy the comforts of this expansive, naturalistic space.”

In the wild, polar bears have an average life span of 15 to 18 years.  In captivity, as is the case with many animals, polar bears tend to live longer due to the health care and nutrition provided by veterinarians and animal care staff.

The move to Detroit wasn’t taken lightly. Veterinary staff at the Indy Zoo considered all of the exhibits available, and decided that the Detroit Zoo had the best facility to meet Tundra’s needs as a senior bear. The pools with gently slopes and large spaces will make it easier for the older bear to move around the exhibit.

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