Phoenix Zoo discovers 2-year-old bear is female, not male

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Phoenix Zoo is fessing up to what it calls an "embearassing" mistake regarding one of its animals.

Zoo officials say they were planning to transfer Luka a 2-year-old Andean bear to the Nashville, Tennessee, zoo when they recently discovered that the bear is a female, not a male as thought.

According to the Phoenix Zoo, Andean bear cubs' genitalia are highly undeveloped before age 2, making it very difficult to determine gender.

The zoo said another factor in the delay in determining the bear's actual gender was that they hadn't handled the bear much because it was doing very well with its mother.

The zoo said Luka still might go to Nashville but that her being a female creates other options for the bear's participation in a breeding program.

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