Polar bear love connection in works for KC Zoo's NikitaPosted: Updated:
A love connection could soon be in the works for Kansas City Zoo's Nikita, as the big white polar bear will be getting a friend.
"This love connection could have many chapters before the 'happily ever after,' however, we are hopeful for the possibilities that lie ahead," zoo spokeswoman Julie Neemeyer said.
Thanks to the recommendation from the Polar Bear Species Survival Program, the 23-year-old female polar bear named Berlin be transferred from the Lake Superior Zoo to the Kansas City Zoo.
And the possible love connection's arrival could be just in time for Christmas. Upon arrival, she will be in quarantine for at least 30 days before a methodical introduction begins with 6-year-old Nikita.
Even though the officials believe that Berlin and Nikita match genetically, nature will need to take its' course, Neemeyer said.
Zoo officials said Berlin will be greatly missed in Minnesota. She became a huge celebrity in her Duluth neighborhood when she escaped her enclosure during torrential rains at the Lake Superior Zoo last June.
However, Berlin didn't wander far before zoo officials were able to tranquilize her and return her to the zoo's animal care center.
"Due to the total devastation of her home in Duluth, Berlin has been sharing accommodations in Minnesota's Como Zoo's Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit with Buzz and Neil, two neutered males. All three polar bears interact well with each other," Neemeyer said.
Shortly after receiving the recommendation, Berlin underwent surgery to remove a necrotic mass and has proved to be resilient female bear, zoo officials said.
Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, the Kansas City Zoo's Director of Animal Health, will also visit with Berlin prior to her trip to Kansas City. He will work with the animal care staff to ensure a safe transport for Berlin.
And while Berlin is considered to be older, polar bears have been known to live into their 30s in captivity.
What is Nikita up to today at the Kansas City Zoo? Find out in KCTV5.com's 24/7, live polar-bear camera. The free, online viewing allows anyone to watch Nikita up close from their computer. Click here to watch!
Click here to see a video of Berlin playing the snow at her zoo in Minnesota.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.