Como is throwing a birthday and bon voyage bash for six bears this weekend.
The weekend of December 8 and 9 Como Zoo will celebrate the 17th birthdays of its male twin polar bears Buzz and Neil, whose actual birthday is on December 9. That same weekend Como will also celebrate the 23rd birthday of Berlin, the female polar bear from the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, whose birthday is December 11.
Beyond birthday celebrations, Como will also bid adieu to Berlin, as well as the three brown bears, Goldie, Judy, and Sandy, from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot who have been temporary guests at Como since 2011. All four bears are scheduled to leave Como by mid-January; Berlin to the Kansas City Zoo as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums breeding recommendation, and Goldie, Judy, and Sandy back home to North Dakota.
Visitors are invited to participate in the birthday and farewell festivities that will include special treats and enrichment for all the bears (and birthday cake for all three polar bears on Saturday). A special ‘Bear Program’ will take place at 10:30 and 2:00 on both days. Visitors will be able to watch Buzz, Neil, and Berlin devour birthday treats fit for the Earth’s largest land predator and learn more about the bears during special Education Talks. Visitors are also invited to sign a “super-sized” birthday banner for the polar bears.
Berlin is currently sharing Polar Bear Odyssey with Buzz and Neil after being transferred to Como Zoo when the Lake Superior Zoo flooded in June 2012.
Minot’s male grizzly and two female brown bears have occupied one half of the Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit since April 2011 when Souris River flooding forced them from their exhibit at the Roosevelt Park Zoo.