Henry Vilas Zoo announces polar bear departure

MADISON, Wis. - Tuesday is International Polar Bear Day, but the Henry Vilas Zoo celebrated a few days early to say goodbye to one of their own polar bears.

Zoo officials announced Saturday that one of the polar bears will be leaving for a breeding program.

This announcement comes after the zoo’s curator, Greg Preccie, told News 3 Saturday morning that there are currently less than 60 polar bears in the United States.

The zoo had originally invited visitors to learn about Suka and Berit, the two bears in residence, and hear about the wider conservation status of polar bears in the United States Saturday afternoon. 

The event took place starting at noon and involved story time for kids, a variety of enrichment activities, polar bear viewing and training demonstrations to inform visitors about polar bear care.  

Officials did not release the location of the polar bear's new home or the date of the move. 

International Polar Bear Day will be celebrated worldwide Tuesday, Feb. 27.

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