Our Polar Bears
Important to Know: To keep all the bears healthy and engaged, they are rotated in the two major exhibit spaces at Glacier Run on an unpredictable schedule. Similar rotation strategies are used successfully in the award-winning Islands and Gorilla Forest. Click here to learn more about how and why we use rotation.
Photo by Brandon Feusner
Qannik was born in January 2011 and rescued on Alaska’s North Slope in April. She took up temporary residence at the Alaska Zoo before moving to her permanent home in Louisville in June 2011. Learn more about Qannik's story and “Operation Snowflake.”
Qannik is constantly exploring her on and off exhibit spaces. Her first “home” within Glacier Run was Bear Alley (the warehouse dock of the fictional mining town known as Glacier Run); she continues her antics in that space with an ever-changing set of toys. You can also see her in the Glacier exhibit frolicking in the pool, bolting and bounding up and down the road that has been washed out by the glacier, splashing in the creeks, running up and down the conveyor belt, engaging visitors through the window of the classroom and generally owning the exhibit space with her cub playfulness.
Qannik is in a full rotational schedule with the other bears of Glacier Run. To that end, she might be in Bear Alley or in the outdoor pool exhibit when you come to visit her. Let’s face it…she is fun no matter where she is. The wild offers variety for its inhabitants naturally and that is what we are trying to do with Glacier Run - variety for our bears. We have been successful in our rotation approach with our award-wining Gorilla Forest and Islands. The rotation of animals on and off exhibit in Glacier Run or any exhibit is designed to enhance their health and well-being by giving them constant enrichment opportunities and more choices for interacting with their environments.
- Read about Qannik's adjustment to the Louisville
(Trunkline Magazine article, September 2011)
- Follow Qannik's official twitter feed at Twitter.com/QannikTheCubLZ
- Cub Keeper Notes
Two-year-old Siku on his first day in quarantine at the Louisville Zoo. Photo by Kyle Shepherd
Siku, a male polar bear cub, was born December 3, 2009 at the Toledo Zoo to mother Crystal and father, Marty. He arrived in Louisville on September 6, 2011.
Siku weighed in at 585 pounds. Within 30 minutes of arrival he was already swimming in his private pool – having splashed a huge amount of water on his first leap in. Siku’s name means “ice” in the Iñupiaq language; his name was chosen by schoolchildren on Alaska’s North Slope.
Siku is now in full rotation with other bears at Glacier Run.
Photo by Kyle Shepherd
Arki was a 28 year-old female polar bear. She moved here in February, 2011 from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago where she was born in November 1984. She gave birth to five litters of cubs and was the mother to Marty, the father to our growing male polar bear, Siku. That made her Siku’s grandmother.
Arki passed away on May 16, 2013. We celebrate her life and were honored to offer her a home these past few years.
Learn more about the Polar Bears