A young Qannik photographed in Louisville Zoo (Louisville Zoo photograph)

Name:  Qannik (female)

Born:  January 2011 in the wild in Alaska

Mother:  Unknown

Father:  Unknown

Siblings:  One of twins – other siblings may exist

Current location: Louisville Zoo, Kentucky, USA

History of captivity:

  1. Born in the wild in Alaska, USA in January 2011
  2.  In April 2011 found alone on a Conoco Phillips oil field on the Alaskan North Slope. Subsequently captured by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and flown to Anchorage, Alaska
  3. Flown Anchorage on 29 April 2011, arriving at Alaska Zoo, Anchorage the following day
  4. Flown to Louisville Zoo, arriving 28 June 2011

Progeny:  None

Additional Information

Qannik, her sister and their mother were originally captured by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey in April 2011 on the North Slope, Alaska.  A radio collar was placed on the mother and tags on the cubs’ ears, after which the bears were released.

More than a week later Qannik (as she would later be named) was spotted alone. Two days later she was seen again, still alone, on a ConocoPhillips oil drilling pad. An aerial search failed to locate her mother (by this time the radio collar had fallen off).  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials concluded she had no chance of surviving on her own and she was captured April 29 and flown to Anchorage that night.

The Fish & Wildlife Service retain ownership of the bear and have the ultimate say as to her future.

Qannik (pronounced“KUN’nik” ) means “snowflake” in the Iñupiaq language.  It is also the name of the oil field where she was found.  

Qannik has her own blog on the zoo’s website which you can find at https://louisvillezoo.org/category/blogs/qannik-blog/

The video below shows Qannik within a day or two of her arrival at Alaska Zoo.

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Page updated 26 December 2020