breeding

An update on our Chinook: she is no longer experiencing long, lazy days. No more sleep-ins or early good nights. She seems to have moved well out of what we think of as a false pregnancy and is ready to join our other two polar bears that are out watching our guests.

Over the past week, we have been gradually reintroducing her to a “normal” management routine and she is more than willing. We have even given her access to Kalluk and Tatqiq through an introduction panel in the bedroom area. The result: Chinook and Tatqiq spent a great deal of time sniffing each other and pawing and then plopped down while Tatqiq tried to squeeze a carrot over to Chinook through the panel. Kalluk just watched them and then went back to the indoor pool and splashed around with a new toy. We have been “sneaking” Chinook out to the exhibit for short periods of time. Some of you are very observant!

We will continue with ultrasounds throughout the year to keep Chinook comfortable with the training. This shouldn’t be too hard since she loves the sessions. We will also begin monitoring Kalluk for the first signs that breeding season is on the way. And then the fingers will be crossed (again)!

Unless Chinook shows us something very different with her behavior or we see something on ultrasound, you’ll be seeing our fabulous trio together again very soon!

JoAnne Simerson is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.

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