A polar bear who was lived at The Buffalo Zoo since 2002 will soon be leaving. Anana, 16, is going to an undisclosed location as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.
Anana is the mother of Luna, one of the zoo's most popular animals, whose 2013 birth drew large crowds. Zoo president and CEO Donna Fernandes says Anana is one of a small group of female polar bears who have given birth while in human care in the past five years. She says with a declining polar bear population, Anana's genes are "vital to polar bear survival."
"We are thrilled to participate in every effort related to conservation of this vulnerable species," Fernandes said, in a statement.
The zoo says Anana be remembered for her "sassy nature," and her love of big, blue barrels and swimming the backstroke.
Anyone who wants to see Anana before she leaves should do so this weekend. The zoo says her move is "imminent." Her destination is not being released at this time, as the request of the incoming facility.
The zoo says the most recent International Union for Conservation of Nature report estimates that there are only 26,000 polar bears left in the wild. The IUCN lists the polar bear as a vulnerable species, citing loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change as the most serious threat.