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Albuquerque BioPark Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day

The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo could bear-ly contain its excitement for International Polar Bear Day on Feb. 27. The zoo hosted an event to celebrate these animals, which featured hands-on exhibits, story times and live fish feeding. 

The resident polar bear of the BioPark is named Kiska – a 27-year-old male who has been living in the 505 since the ‘90s. His habitat was renovated and upgraded inFebruary. He now spends his days with a 20-foot waterslide and 14-foot pool, according to the Albuquerque BioPark.

Alongside Albuquerque, Polar bears and their advocates celebrate International Polar Bear Day across the globe.

International Polar Bear Day corresponds with the denning season of female polar bears, according to Polar Bears International – the group that initially started International Polar Bear Day.

Denning season occurs when the bears give birth in the early spring and create dens on ice shelves to safely raise their young. Denning season is one of the most important factors in determining the size and health of the polar bear population, according to Polar Bears International.

It is also the season most threatened by climate change; as rising temperatures in the Arctic regions lead to increased ice melt, there is less ice for mother polar bears to make their den. It ultimately leads to them making longer, more treacherous swims to find opportunities to den, according to Polar Bears International.

Denning is essential to protect vulnerable polar bear cubs, as only half of all cubs make it to adulthood, according to Polar Bears International.

22,000 to 31,000 individual polar bears are living in the wild. Only an additional 300 live in captivity, according to World Population Review one of which is Kiska.

​​Addison Fulton is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at

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