COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Lee, a 20-year-old male polar bear that has been at the Columbus Zoo since 2018 will soon move to another home.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says polar bear fans are encouraged to visit Lee soon. His new home will be announced at a later date.
The zoo says two Columbus Zoo Animal Care team members, two Facilities team members, and a staff veterinarian will travel with Lee to ensure that he arrives safely.
The move was recommended AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP).This SSP recommendation was made so that Lee can act as a companion to the receiving facility’s female polar bear.
With Lee moving to another facility, there is also a possibility of receiving another SSP recommendation that would pair a new male with the Columbus Zoo’s female polar bears in the future.
Lee arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from Denver Zoo in November 2018. He sired his first cub, Kulu, who was born at the Columbus Zoo on November 28, 2019—Thanksgiving Day—to mother, Aurora. Young Kulu is still living with his mother at the Columbus Zoo and now weighs almost 300 pounds! Columbus Zoo guests will still have the opportunity to view Aurora and Kulu as well as Aurora’s twin sister, Anana, on a rotational basis.
“Though it’s always hard to say good-bye to a member of our Zoo family, we remain committed to our important role in collaborative programs working to protect the future of this threatened species. We are very proud of the success of the polar bear breeding program at the Columbus Zoo, as well as the knowledge and expertise that our care team continues to contribute to the scientific community and our conservation partners,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Stalf in a press release.