Henry Vilas Zoo’s new polar bear makes his debut

His friends call him ‘Bo’
The Henry Vilas Zoo debuts its new polar bear, "Borealis," on Nov. 18, 2020.
The Henry Vilas Zoo debuts its new polar bear, "Borealis," on Nov. 18, 2020.(Henry Vilas Zoo via Facebook)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 8:59 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Winter’s taking hold in Wisconsin. What better time for the Henry Vilas Zoo to debut Borealis, its newest polar bear.

The 600-pound bear moved to Madison last week from the Toledo Zoo. Since that time, he’s been exploring his new home in the Zoo’s Arctic Passage exhibit.

He currently has the whole place to himself. The zoo’s female polar bear, Berit, is still asleep in her winter den. When she wakes up, Berit will join her new buddy in the exhibit.

Borealis - or ‘Bo’ to his friends - is just a few weeks shy of his second birthday. Zoo officials explain that is about the time a polar bear cub in the wild would venture out from his mama bear.

The move was facilitated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which is tasked with managing the polar bear populations in its affiliated zoos.

Welcome Borealis! We are thrilled to welcome our newest resident, a 600-pound male polar bear who arrived last week from...

Posted by Henry Vilas Zoo on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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