BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The newest member of the Buffalo Zoo arrived Wednesday after a long trek from Alaska. Now Kali, the male polar bear cub, is making himself at home.
But those interested in seeing the little fellow who will soon be a playmate for Luna, the female polar bear cub, will have to wait a little longer.
The Buffalo Zoo hopes to have Kali and Luna on display together for the public next month. In the mean time, the zoo is starting to slowly introduce the polar bear cubs to each other, one paw at a time.
Unlike Luna, Kali was born in the wild. The Alaska Zoo says his mother was shot by a hunter who didn’t realize she had a baby. Though polar bears are a threatened species, officials say it is legal for Native Alaskans to shoot them as long as they don’t have cubs.
Kali left the Alaska Zoo with UPS officials, had a layover in Louisville, and arrived in Buffalo 14 hours later. News 4 was at the zoo as Kalie arrived early Wednesday morning.
Veterinarian Dr. Kurt Volle of the Buffalo Zoo joined Kali on board said he was an excellent passenger. The UPS pilot couldn’t resist a play on words.
“I guess you could say we love polar-gistics,” he kidded.
Mike Zabel of M&T Bank added, “We’re very happy to bring our resources to bear, so to speak.”
The Buffalo Zoo gets to keep Kali for the summer, but it’s unclear where his permanent home will be.
Officials hope visitors will be able to see Kali and Luna playing together by June. Right now, the two cubs can smell and hear each other.
Zoo President Dr. Donna Fernandes said, “I think it should go very smoothly. When you have adult animals it can be more problematic. I don’t think we will have a problem with these little young guys. I think they will be excited to have a playmate.”
In the wild, cubs usually stay with their mothers until they are 2-years-old and usually mate when they are between 4- and 6-years-old.