TOLEDO, March 2, 2022 – The Toledo Zoo is proud to welcome a 17-year-old polar bear, named Nuka, to its pack.

Nuka, born at the Denver Zoo, moved to the Detroit Zoo in 2011. The moves are due to the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Program.

The goal of the Species Survival Plan program is to introduce endangered species of animals in hopes of mating to sustain endangered species.

“Being an SSP program means this animal is part of a cooperatively managed population of animals within Association of Zoos and Aquarium member institutions where expert advisors work cooperatively together to maximize genetic diversity to boost the long-term sustainability of the species,” said Michael Frushour, curator of mammals for the Toledo Zoo.

The experts with the Species Survival Program issued a breeding recommendation for the Toledo Zoo’s 23-year-old female polar bear Crystal. In the past, Crystal has produced seven cubs with her long-time mate Marty who passed away in November of last year.

“We’re so excited for guests to be able to enjoy this new addition to the Arctic Encounter exhibit starting today,” said Shayla Moriarty, chief of staff and senior vice president for the Toledo Zoo.

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