Louisville Zoo Welcomes New Male Polar Bear (Media Release)

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
502-238-5331 (Media Cell 502-744-5639)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 17, 2020) Meet Lee — the Zoo’s newest resident 20-year-old male polar bear. He comes to the Louisville Zoo from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

Lee has completed his standard 30-day quarantine and will be in exhibit rotation with 8-year-old female Qannik at Glacier Run soon. He is currently still acclimating to the various new spaces at Glacier Run.

Lee’s move to the Louisville Zoo was a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


Polar Bears are North America’s iconic species. They are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. Current polar bear populations are estimated at 25,000 worldwide. The single biggest conservation issue facing polar bears is the negative effects of climate change. Polar bears are threatened by climate change and the resulting loss of sea ice, which is the hunting ground for their main prey, seals. Hunting seasons are shrinking, which means less food for survival.


The Louisville Zoo, a nonprofit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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