Polar bear Qannik

Our Polar Bears

Qannik

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. Qannik turned 8 years old on January 10, 2019. Learn more about Qannik’s story and “Operation Snowflake.”

Lee

Lee arrived at the Louisville Zoo in the fall of 2020. The 20-year-old bear hails from Columbus Zoo in Ohio. Lee is described as a very large, curious, laid back bear.

Polar Bear Activities

The bears are constantly exploring on and off exhibit spaces. Qannik’s 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 Qannik 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 playfulness.

Qannik and Lee are on a full rotational schedule with the other bears of Glacier Run. Because polar bears are naturally solitary, coming together only to breed, they are not on exhibit together. You may see the bears in Bear Alley or the outdoor pool exhibit when you come to visit. The wild offers variety for its inhabitants naturally and we try to do the same in Glacier Run — provide variety for our bears. 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. This rotation approach has also been successful in our award-winning Gorilla Forest and Islands exhibits. Click here to learn more about how and why we use rotation.

Learn more about Qannik

Learn more about polar bears