Polar Bear

(Ursus maritimus)

Mammals | Arctic Circle

Polar bear Anoki
Photo courtesy of Maryland Zoo

Animal Info

Seneca Park Zoo is home to one female polar bear, Anoki. She was born here at Seneca Park Zoo in 1996. She moved to Albuquerque Bio Park in 1998, and to the Maryland Zoo in 2008, before coming home to Rochester in September 2018.

Status in the Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Vulnerable. The IUCN lists climate change as the most significant threat to the polar bear, as melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food. Seneca Park Zoo is part of the Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) and partners with polar bear conservation organizations like Polar Bears International (PBI).

Habitat

Polar bears are found on sea coasts, islands, ice floes and in open water in Arctic regions including the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia.

Diet

The polar bear mainly eats ringed and bearded seals. It can sometimes be found eating whale carcasses, caribou, rodents, sea birds, fish, eggs, berries, and unfortunately, human garbage. Polar bears are completely dependent on sea ice to hunt seals. As sea ice decreases, so does their ability to get food.

Did you know?

A male polar bear can be up to 11 feet tall and weigh up to 1,400 pounds. Females can weigh between 450 and 770 pounds.

Hairs on a polar bear reflect light, giving polar bears a white coloration. But a polar bear’s hair is actually translucent.

The large paws on a polar bear act as snowshoes, spreading out the polar bear’s weight and adding extra gripping ability.

A polar bear has blubber up to four inches thick.

A new born polar bear cub weighs about one pound.

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