The Assiniboine Park Zoo has planned several special activities to mark International Polar Bear Day and raise awareness about the role modern zoos play in the conservation and protection of the species.
The Zoo has planned a Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt for Sunday, as well as Polar Bear handprint craft kits that can be picked up and completed at home. The kits are free and come with all the necessary materials.
Through March 31st, the zoo is also auctioning Polar Bear Paw Print Artwork.
International Polar Bear Day is an annual day of awareness created by Polar Bears International that coincides with the time period when polar bear moms and cubs are in their dens.
“International Polar Bear Day brings awareness to how polar bears in our province are being impacted by climate change,” said Grant Furniss, Senior Director of Animal Care and Conservation. “This is a great opportunity for Zoo visitors to connect with our bears and learn about polar bear conservation and how they can help polar bears in the wild.”
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is actively engaged in a number of conservation science projects at the Zoo and in the field that are enhancing our understanding of polar bears and contributing to the conservation of polar bears in the wild.
• testing of non-invasive burr-on-fur tracking tags,
• researching polar bear hair growth to validate studies of wild polar bears,
• using thermal imaging to study polar bear energy expenditure from a distance,
• tracking hormone changes in polar bears (using glitter poo), and
• mapping important polar bear denning habitats in Manitoba that may be at risk from wildfires.
Proceeds of the art auction and donations support the work of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Polar Bear Rescue & Care Team.