A new love song is hopefully being written by “Elvis” for Berlin and Nikita, Kansas City Zoo’s rock star polar bears, in the New Year. In November, Elvis, the beagle who is known for sniffing out polar bear pregnancies, predicted that Berlin was not pregnant. Berlin continued to be monitored through the end of the year as though she was pregnant, unfortunately, Elvis was correct.
However, the “love” connection will hopefully begin again. In the next four days, Berlin could be seen by guests in Polar Bear Passage. While she will have access to her behind the scenes accommodations, she will become reacquainted with these five star digs.
If Berlin continues to be her calm and mature self, on Tuesday, she and Nikita will begin their “HOWDY”/How is the World Treating You sessions as they did last February. They will be on exhibit separately but both could be off exhibit at certain times of the day. If they are off exhibit, Zoo Keepers will be conducting “HOWDY” sessions behind the scenes. These “HOWDY” sessions begin with plenty of secure space between Nikita and Berlin so they can see and smell each other. Zoo Keepers will monitor and record their behaviors consulting with the Zoo’s Animal Curators, Veterinarians and other polar bear experts. This collaboration will help determine when to bring the bears closer yet still protected from direct contact, and then eventually get them nose to nose.
Getting polar bears to “HOWDY” is dictated completely by the two bears. Careful observation and precautions will be taken during each step of this introduction process. While we hope for a quick Love Me Tender success it will not be rushed. Progress will also be posted on the Zoo’s web site under Zoo News and on Facebook.
Even though a connection was made in 2013, it does not guarantee a connection in 2014 – nevertheless, we hope They Can’t Help Falling In Love again.