POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — A polar bear cub born nearly two years ago on Thanksgiving Day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will soon be moving to a new home.
Kulu, born Nov. 28, 2019, will be moving this fall to a new Midwest zoo. Details on the move, including which zoo will be Kulu’s new home, will be announced when the new zoo reveals Kulu’s arrival to its community.
Kulu drew plenty of attention after he was born to mother Aurora and father Lee, with the zoo posting regular updates on the cub’s development as well as allowing the public to pick his name.
At 22 months old and weighing 725 pounds, Kulu outweighs his 560-pound mother and is at the age where, in the wild, cubs would begin venturing away from their mothers, the zoo said in a press release.
The zoo said moving Kulu to another accredited zoo would allow for another male polar bear to be brought into Columbus to continue the zoo’s successful polar bear breeding program.
The zoo said polar bear populations are declining due to the disappearance of sea ice, and experts estimate that only 20,000-25,000 polar bears are left in their native range. Some scientists believe that if the warming trend continues, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050.
Lee was moved earlier this year to the Louisville Zoo, while 14-year-old Aurora remains at the Columbus Zoo.
The zoo’s Polar Frontier region opened in 2010.
Kulu will be accompanied by one of his animal care team members and a Columbus Zoo staff veterinarian when he moves to his new home.
“While Kulu will be missed tremendously, this is the necessary next step for him as he continues to develop into an adult bear, who has an important role to play in the future of his threatened species,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, senior vice president of Animal Care and Conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, in the press release.