Zoo celebrates Polar Bear Weekend ahead of International Polar Bear Day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – If you missed the start of Polar Bear Weekend at the Seneca Park Zoo, don’t worry. You still have Sunday to visit and learn more about these amazing animals. The zoo is also teaming up with Polar Bears International as part of a conservation effort to help protect this particular species of bear.

Seneca Park Zoo, and its partner are raising awareness of the polar bear’s shrinking habitat in the Arctic. This weekend it’s all about featuring their own polar bear named “Anoki.”

“Cause anything we do here to make changes is going to protect bears, but also help protect our area as well,” said Zoo Keeper Randi Krieger.

Anoki, Seneca Park Zoo’s resident polar bear is finally in her element now that we have some snow, and ice on the ground. Sunday is International Polar Bear Day, and a time to learn more about her, and her habitat. Krieger spends a lot of time with Anoki.

“Every day is a new day. Anoki keeps me on my toes for sure. She’s so smart, and so fun to work with. She trains so easily. My favorite thing is doing enrichment with her cause she’s always going to interact with something. You throw something in her pool, she’s diving for it,” said Krieger.

She calls Anoki an ambassador for other wild polar bears in the frozen Arctic. She’s sort of the perfect research subject.

“So, when people come here and see Anoki, and learn about polar bears, they can make a better connection. Most people may not get a chance to see polar bears out in their natural range so when they come here, they can make that connection, and they can learn what they can do to help protect polar bears,” said Krieger.

Even though polar bears live thousands of miles away, Krieger says Rochesterians can help protect them, and the sea ice they heavily depend on. She says we can do this by making a few easy changes in our lives.

“Switching to reusable energy, renewal energy, and just doing things like carpooling when we can. Shopping local,” said Krieger.

Seneca Park Zoo is also teaming up with the Rochester Amerks for “Defend The Ice Month!” The team is wearing special polar bear themed jerseys along with matching socks in support of polar bear awareness. A special donation drive will collect money for their partner, Polar Bear International.

“We do have in-person donations. We also have a Venmo, and PayPal now as well for Seneca Park Zoo Society. So, if you donate on there, and put that for Polar Bear International, it will go right to our partners,” said Zoo Programs Coordinator Jess Hays.

Click here to learn more about donation information, and Sunday’s zoo hours.