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Polar bear mating season underway at the Buffalo Zoo

The now ten-year-old bears are together once again for mating season.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Polar bears are usually solitary animals, except for this time of year. 

"During breeding season, the bears are very interactive," Buffalo Zoo Carnivore Team Lead Caitlyn Bruce told 2 On Your Side. "We have a male and a female here, Luna and Sakari, so that is the reason they're together is for breeding." 

During breeding season, Luna and Sakari spend 24 hours a day together. 

"They're a very very good match, the two of them together," Bruce said. "We all know that Luna's a little bit of a diva. Sakari is very calm and very accepting of her diva ways, and so having them together is a really good pair." 

Even though the bears have been together for several mating seasons now and haven't had cubs yet, Bruce says there's no need for concern. 

"We've definitely seen some really huge progress that we're very excited about," Bruce said. "We're very hopeful that coming in the next year or two we'll have a lot more success than we have previously." 

Bruce says the bears still have plenty of time. 

"There have been things that have happened in the last year or two that show that both of them are maturing and at ten years old, so both of these bears are ten. This is not late for them to have cubs," she said.  

Of course there are always other avenues. The Buffalo Zoo's rhinos have had a lot of success with artificial insemination. 

"Artificial insemination in polar bears has not been successful yet," Bruce said. "They have tried it, but it hasn't been successful. But it certainly is something that is an option to start researching and looking into." 

After good recent physicals for both bears, zoo staff is still banking on a natural pregnancy. 

"Some people have suggested playing Barry White and stuff like that, but no," Bruce said. "The bears do all the work. All we have to do is give them the opportunity." 


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