On March 12, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received word that a female polar bear had been taken near Point Lay, Alaska. The adult female was accompanied by a cub, which was recovered and transferred first to the community of Point Lay, and then to the North Slope Borough’s Department of Wildlife Management (DWM). Subsequent to a health evaluation by the DWM it was determined that the cub is a young male weighing approximately 18.4 lbs. and 3-4 months of age. The Alaska Zoo was requested to arrange the transportation from Barrow and to provide for preliminary care and management of the cub. The cub arrived on March 18, 2013 and is currently being held for observation at the Alaska Zoo, and appears to be responding well.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes and appreciates the many partners, including the people of Point Lay (who would like the cub to be named “Kali,” pronounced cully, which is the Inupiat name for Point Lay), the North Slope Borough, Alaska Airlines, the North Slope Borough Police Department, and the Alaska Zoo for their efforts in recovering, transporting, and caring for this young animal.
Opportunities for public viewing will be determined at a later date by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kali will not be a permanent resident at the Alaska Zoo, since the Zoo already has two adult polar bears. The final destination of the cub will be determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after consideration of all options.