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Polar bear

Did you know?

Ursus maritimus

Polar bears may look white – but their skin is actually black, and their fur is clear and hollow. (It’s also wiry to touch – how do we know? Scroll down and find out!)

Discover Polar bears

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
Polar bears live in the Arctic – in coastal lands, islands and seas above 70 degrees latitude. But while they hunt on ice, they are rarely seen close to the North Pole. Find ours in Arctic Tundra.
Arctic Tundra
Meet the Keepers
Pretty chill.
It’s quite a job to look after a polar bear! Meet our intrepid keepers each day at 11:30am at the Polar Bear Keeper Talk, and bring all your questions.
See daily schedule

Meet our bears

Boris
Blizzard
Eating
(and predators!)
Polar bears need blubber (a 4-inch layer of fat under their skin) to survive Arctic temperatures. They get this by eating seals, which they hunt just off the ice.
They’ll also sometimes eat walruses, belugas and other whales that have washed ashore. Their main predators are humans and other polar bears.
Baby bear
it's cold out there.
Female polar bears dig special dens to give birth, often to twin cubs which are around 10-12 inches long, weighing 2 pounds.
Mothers bring cubs out of the den after about 5 months, and stay with them for 2-3 years, helping them survive.
Going solo
(or sleeping it out)
Polar bears are mostly solitary, grouping only to protect babies or if there is abundant food.
They don’t hibernate, but will den temporarily to avoid harsh weather or while pregnant.

Protecting Polar bears

Our home is melting.

THE THREAT: Polar bears face a huge threat – their home is melting. As climate change melts sea ice, they have nowhere to hunt seals, and face both starvation and human hunters on land.

TAKE ACTION: It’s not too late to slow the melting of the ice. Take action by reducing your carbon footprint, driving and idling less, lowering your thermostat and encouraging others to do the same

Arctic Stories

Tracking Polar Bears

Just outside the remote town of Churchill, Manitoba, a male polar bear ambles northwards. Full-grown, he’s spent the summer on land, eating nothing – his main food is seal, found on the ice of nearby western Hudson Bay. And now, as fall turns to chilly Canadian winter, that sea ice is re-forming – and our … Continued

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Hudson+Charlotte: Together at Last

Our baby boy muskox Hudson is growing up – and just met his girlfriend Charlotte. After 2-year-old Hudson got closer in size to the 3-year-old Charlotte) keepers put him together with her in the Arctic Tundra habitat. And they’re getting along perfectly, says senior keeper Shannon Smith. “He’s being the boy, saying ‘That’s my food,’” … Continued

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Polar Bear Research in Churchill

NOTE: This is an archive of a trip by staff biologist Cindy Roberts, who visited Churchill, Manitoba to work with other conservation experts to learn about habitat preservation for polar bears. Check back soon for a continuation of this story! Cindy Roberts’ trip was made possible with support from Polar Bears International and The Zoo … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Like our polar bears? Then visit our Arctic foxes, just along the path at Arctic Tundra.