Thursday, January 23, 2020

Anana heads to Detroit

 It has been announced to the public that Anana of the Cincinnati Zoo will be moving very soon to the Detroit Zoo, to the Arctic Ring of Life. This weekend is the last chance to see her before she goes north.

Anana in the pool, with Little One strolling by
In Detroit, Anana will meet up with 7 year old female Suka and 15 year old male Nuka. For the past two breeding seasons, Suka has gotten pregnant and delivered cubs, but the cubs were stillborn or lived only a day. This shows that Nuka can father cubs, in any case, so it was thought that Anana would have a good chance of having a cub if she moves to Detroit. At age 20, her biological clock is ticking. The only other male polar bears in the U.S. who have fathered cubs and are still living are Suka's father Marty, and now Lee of the Columbus Zoo, with a new cub just born.  

Suka was born at the Toledo Zoo. Her twin brother Sakari is the mate of Anana's daughter Luna in Buffalo. Suka lived for a time in Madison Wisconsin, first with her brother Sakari, and then with Berit, longtime resident of the Cincinnati Zoo.

Nuka was born in Denver. His twin brother Koda is in Pittsburgh and his sister Cranbearry is in Anchorage Alaska. Nuka is the nephew of the late Rizzo, who lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for many years with Little One and Berit.

Anana being sassy

Anana in the water with her ball, while Little One does a little more srolling
 With Anana leaving Cincinnati, Little One, age 30, will be in retirement, which is rather sad, especially because he has no living relatives in the U.S., and has never fathered a cub. He does have a sister Satuki who lives in Japan, and she has never had cubs either.

Rescued circus bear Bärle spent happy years at the Detroit Zoo,
loving the grassy area especially.

Detroit Zoo's Arctic Ring of Life has two large areas that can be separated if need be, so Anana can be on her own on one side while she gets accustomed to her new place.

There is a rolling meadow so big that you can't see it all at once, only by walking along a trail to get to the other side. It has caves, a lovely pool, and wildflowers. 

The Arctic Ring of Life in Detroit has a Tundra area,
 which looks like a frozen landscape.

The Tundra area offers a large diving pool with a marvelous view tunnel for visitors, and the sea lions are right there, seeming to share the pool but in fact separated by an invisible barrier. Talini's mother Bärle taught her to hunt sea lions there at the zoo, and Talini would make a game of it. The sea lions loved to tease her. Maybe Anana will learn the seal hunt game too.

Talini in her seal hunting days at the Detroit Zoo. She is in Chicago now.

The viewing tunnel in Detroit
Suka, left, lived in Madison Wisconsin for a time with Berit,
 formerly of the Cincinnati Zoo.

Suka's favorite game is basketball. She will spend hours tossing a ball about, diving down to get it, and balancing the ball.
Suka playing underwater ball, her favorite game, in Detroit

Nuka is a private bear. He often stays inside, and you are lucky if he comes out to greet you. He doesn't spend much time playing in the pool. 

The Detroit Zoo has a great staff of volunteer docents, and someone is always in the polar bear tunnel to tell you about the bears and answer your questions.

After Anana leaves, Little One will no doubt be more quiet. She really made him feel young and active again. He will really miss her.

Here are some memories of Anana and Little One and their time together in Cincinnati. 

Anana eats lunch, but Little One only has interest in Anana.

Halloween is fun in Cincinnati, with pumpkins every weekend for Anana

Springtime and in love. Anana and Little One

Mr. and Mrs. Anana bear

Watermelon treat for Anana

Carrot - food or toy for Anana

Anana brought her own toys with her

Apples for snack

Anana hogs the ball
Fighting or playing. Little One enjoyed his time with lovely little Anana
Farewell Anana. We will see you in Detroit! You will love it there.


  1. Danke für diese schöne Geschichte

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the photos, Gerhard. She is a pretty bear. I will miss her. Cincinnati is my home zoo, and now I have to drive four hours to Detroit to see her. Give my best to Ulli.