Zoo Celebrates Polar Bear Qannik’s 4th Birthday

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
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Zoo Celebrates Polar Bear Qannik’s 4th Birthday

The Louisville Zoo staff and guests will celebrate polar bear Qannik’s 4th birthday Saturday, Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. at Glacier Run. Qannik will get to enjoy a peanut butter cake created especially for her donated by Heitzman’s Traditional Bakery and Deli on Shelbyville Road. Families will also get a chance to sing Happy Birthday to the special rescued bear who is a great ambassador for her species and what is happening in the arctic. A giant birthday card will be on hand for kids/families to sign and Qannik will receive special birthday enrichment items.

Qannik made national headlines when she was found on Alaska’s North Slope in 2011, separated from her mother and sibling. After several days of monitoring her with hopes that she would reunite with the other bears, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) moved into a rescue operation. Qannik was under weight and likely hadn’t learned vital skills to survive the wild on her own. After many Zoos in North American vied for the opportunity to care for Qannik, it was decided by USFWS and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that Qannik’s new home would be The Louisville Zoo’s new arctic-themed bear habitat Glacier Run. She has been at the Zoo since June 28, 2011. As Qannik was born in the wild her exact birthdate is unknown and officials from the USFWS assigned Jan. 10 as her birthday.

Qannik is still in rotation with the four other bears at Glacier Run’s bear habitat – 4-year-old polar bear Siku and grizzly family – 8-year-old mother Inga and 3-year-old cubs Otis and Rita.


The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit 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 American Association of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).