Polar Bear Camera

Get to Know Our Polar Bears

Born in 1989, Berlin is queen of her domain! Whether she's napping in her sandy pit or swimming laps in her cooled pool, Berlin chooses what she wants to do and when.

Nuniq - pronounced "new-nick" - was born at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2016 and arrived in Kansas City in 2020. You will frequently see him splashing around in the pool and tearing up some of his favorite toys.

Home Sweet Home

Polar Bear Passage was created to specifically meet a polar bear’s needs. It includes:

  • A 140,000 gallon pool chilled to 65 degrees for swimming and diving
  • A giant sand pit for digging (or napping) and a grassy yard for rolling around and playing with enrichment items
  • Air-conditioned bedrooms and den behind the scenes, complete with private swimming pool

Keeping Busy

Zookeepers plan daily activities for our bears. They use varied foods, smells, toys and sounds to change what they experience everyday. You may see our bears playing with balls, barrels, logs, or straw – they have a lot of options! You may also notice that Berlin sometimes paces, which is a habit she developed as a younger bear. The amount of time she paces changes from season to season, probably due to weather changes, hormones and natural instincts.

The Menu

Berlin and Nuniq have a wide choice of food items. Herring, capelin, trout, polar bear kibble, lard and a selection of fruits and vegetables are all on the menu. Seasonally, polar bear weights fluctuate widely just as they would in the Arctic. In summer months, polar bears weigh much less because they are unable to hunt seals on the ice. In the winter, when hunting is possible, polar bears pack on the pounds.

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