WINNIPEG — The Assiniboine Park Zoo has a new polar bear resident from British Columbia.
Agee, a 26-year-old female, arrived in Winnipeg on Friday at the zoo’s Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.
She has spent her entire life in human care and belonged to private owners who worked in the entertainment industry. When they were no longer able to care for Agee, the Assiniboine Park Zoo was asked to step in.
“As leaders in polar bear rescue, transition and care, the Assiniboine Park Zoo is very well-equipped to provide Agee with a new home and high quality of life in human care,” said Grant Furniss, senior director, zoological operations.
“Here at the Zoo, we have a team of experts who will tend to Agee’s needs. She will receive the same attention and high standard of care as the other polar bears at the zoo.”
Zoo officials travelled to B.C. last week to complete a health assessment and supervise Agee’s transfer to Winnipeg.
Agee is settling in nicely and will undergo a standard 30-day quarantine period during which she will have access to indoor and outdoor habitats.
She isn’t yet visible to visitors or media as zoo staff monitor her health and behaviour.
“Agee has spent her entire life in human care and has not had contact with other polar bears. For that reason, it is highly unlikely that she will be introduced to others bears here at the zoo,” added Furniss.
“It is our intention that Agee will be visible to the public at some point in the future, but that will be determined by how she adjusts to her new surroundings. Her health and welfare are our highest priorities.”
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is now home to 10 polar bears.