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Detroit Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day February 26-27

Polar Bears - Roy Lewis

Polar bears are so beloved they have their own day … even presidents have to share one. In fact, they are so popular International Polar Bear Day encapsulates two days, Sunday, February 26 and Monday, February 27.

The day will focus on how to raise interest and concerns about the endangered creatures, with a healthy dose of fun. There will be zookeeper talks, educational activities and photo opportunities with the zoo’s polar bear mascot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. All of it will take place at the Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life.

“Our hope is that the 1.7 million people who visit the Detroit Zoo each year leave here with a greater understanding of the issues facing polar bears in the wild and the realization that everyone can do something to help save the these animals and their arctic habitat,” says Gerry VanAcker, Detroit Zoological Society DZS chief operating officer.

While you are on site you will be able to watch the 12-year-old polar bear residents and breeding pair, Nuka and Talini. They will get special treats at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. If you have any questions about the beloved beasts, there will be staff present to answer them at the

Nuka  - Photo by Roy Lewis

Nuka enjoying the day
– Photo by Roy Lewis

Talini standing on cave  - Photo by Roy Lewis

Talini standing on cave
- Photo by Roy Lewis

An interesting fact about polar bears is their fur is not white, but rather clear. You can see it for yourself in  microscopes with samples of fur at the education centers. There will also be “blubber gloves” to better demonstrate how blubber keeps arctic animals warm in such brutal weather.

Despite the love they are getting, the polar bear population is not in great shape. Aerial photography shows how much ice has been lost in the bears’ native land. Visitors can also weigh puppets to comprehend the drop in average weight of these animals over the years.

There will also be facts about polar bears on “foot prints” spread throughout the 70-foot-long Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage. The clear tunnel allows you to view the arctic animals swim and live life as they do, all around you.

Polar Bear swimming   -  Photo by  Jennie Miller

Polar bears swim over you at the Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage
– Photo by Jennie Miller

Talini swimming  - Photo by Roy Lewis

Talini swimming
- Photo by Roy Lewis

Kids can also put together a polar puzzle at the Exploration Station.

The first 125 attendees at each of the International Polar Bear Day events will receive a free magnet with green tips to help lighten their carbon footprint.

International Polar Bear Day offers visitors two days of celebration and education that will help this endangered species.

The decades of hocking Coke products is finally paying off for the polar bears.

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