Polar bear in the Bronx Zoo, New York, USE (Alexisrael)

In an ideal world there would be no polar bears in zoos, for if ever there is an animal that doesn’t belong in a zoo it’s the polar bear.  These Arctic giants have huge ranges in the wild, traveling many of hundreds of miles in their search for food.  They have evolved over millennia to exist and thrive in the harsh environment of the arctic.  It is our belief, based on considered scientific evidence, that polar bears are a species that should never be bred in captivity, nor should they be actively sourced for captivity from the wild.  However, even if this ideal state were to be achieved, there would still be problems and issues around what to do with cubs found orphaned in the wild and “problem bears” captured in populated areas.

Many, indeed most, polar bears in zoos and aquaria are kept in climates which are totally unsuitable.  Very few, (possibly only one or two), facilities provide sufficient space for captive polar bears to live anything approaching a natural life.  It is not surprising therefore that many polar bears kept in zoos and aquaria show symptoms of abnormal behavior, such as continually shaking their heads, running up and down their enclosures or swimming in a stereotypical fashion.

Captive polar bears, along with orcas and other cetaceans, suffer from more sickness and psychologically related illness than other animals kept in captivity.  These acts are ways in which they try to compensate for what is lacking from their environment.

Bear Conservation is working to compile a comprehensive list of all polar bears currently kept in captivity (see the table at the bottom of this page).  If you would like to help with this work then please get in touch.

We have three main goals:

  1. An end to all polar bear breeding programmes in zoos and aquaria.  Many of the cubs born in captivity die within a few years, or even months, of birth.  Breeding polar bears in captivity can never “save the bears” from extinction, nor repopulate the wild.  No captive-born polar bear has ever been successfully released into the wild; indeed to do so would be contrary to IUCN regulations.
  2. The upgrading and improvement of existing zoos and aquaria to provide modern, state of the art “off exhibit” and “on exhibit” facilities that meet the highest possible standards for housing, enrichment, general welfare and veterinary services. Air conditioning, water features and a total area of at least 8,000 square metres (2 acres) per animal are essential for high welfare standards to be maintained.
  3. Where the above cannot be achieved substandard polar bear “exhibits” in zoos and aquaria must be closed, with the animals transferred to modern, high standard facilities.

You can help us by visiting zoos that have polar bears, collecting photograph, videos and information on them and submitting it to us.

ARTICLES ONLINE

Zoos are too small for some species, biologists report (New York Times 2003). Opens in a new window.

First killer whales, now polar bears? PETA goes after SeaWorld again (San Diego Union-Tribune 2017).  Opens in new window.

Polar bears in captivity: Does it help or hinder conservation? (DW 29 February 2016).  Opens in new window. 

MORE INFORMATION

We are currently researching to compile a comprehensive list of captive polar bears.  The following interim table is a work in progress, based upon the best information obtainable to date.  Within the table you will find an expanding set of links to our pages on individual zoos and bears.

Using the drop-down at the top of the table you can vary the number of rows displayed.  There is also a box to enable the table to be searched.  Once completed a downloadable version of the table will also be provided.

This information will be used as the basis of our online captive polar bear directory. Each facility (zoo, aquarium, etc.) which has captive polar bears will be allocated a page. These pages will then be linked to a separate page for each individual bear. 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE DIRECTORY

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Captive Polar Bears 2019
COUNTRYFACILITYTYPE OF FACILITYTOTAL AREA / CAPACITYFEMALES/ MALESTOTAL  
AustraliaSea World, Gold Coast, QueenslandAquarium1,322 sq. mtrs. / capacity for 5 bears per designers2 females (Liya & daughter Mishka) / 2 males (Hudson & Nelson)4
AustriaTiergarten Schönbrunn, Vienna1,700 square metres with rock and gravel surfaces, waterfalls and streams. The water surface is 450 square metres. The largest plunge pool is five metres deep. Water capacity is 630,00 litres.1 female (Nora) / 1 male (Ranzo)2
BelgiumLe Monde Sauvage, d'AywailleZoo2 females (Blanche & Qamik) / 1 male (Rocky)3
BelgiumPairi Daiza, BrugeletteZooPlanning a 3,900 square metre exhibit "Cold World" for the keeping and breeding of polar bears. Probably will not be completed until sometime in 2020None as yet0
BrazilAquário de São PauloAquarium1 female (Aurora) / 1 male (Peregrino)2
CanadaAquarium du Quebec, QuebecAquarium1 female (Taiga) / 1 male (Eddy)2
CanadaAssiniboine Zoo, Winnipeg, ManitobaZooIn September 2018 the zoo’s conservation centre was renamed the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre following a $2 million donation from local family members Doug & Louise Leatherdale.5 females (Aurora, Kaska, Juno (born 11/11/2015), Nanuq & Star) / 4 males (Blizzard, Siku, Storm & York Juno is returning to Toronto Zoo 1 October 2018.9
CanadaBeyond Just Bears, Abbotsford, British ColumbiaMedia animal training company1 female (Agee)1
CanadaCochrane Polar Bear Habitat, Cochrane, OntarioSanctuary3 males (Ganuk, Henry & Inukshuk)3
CanadaTotonto Zoo, Toronto, OntarioZoo2 females (Aurora & Nikita) / 2 males (Hudson & Humphrey) Female Juno (born 11/11/2015) is due to return from Assiniboine Zoo on 1 October 20184
CanadaZoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien, Saint-Félicien, QuebecZoo2 females (Aisaqvak & Milak) / 1 male (Yellé)3
Canada Totals11 females / 11 males2222
ChinaBeijing ZooZoo2 females (AnAn & MiMi) /4 males (Ji, LeLe, Samson & PingPing)6
ChinaChengdu Haichang Polar Ocean WorldAquariumOpened 2010. Has polar bear pavilion1 male (TaoTao, born 09/03/2008) (Polar Ocean World moves it bears around between its five sites so actual bear(s) here may differ)1
ChinaDalian Forest Zoo, Dalian, LiaoningZooSketchy information but seems likely 1 female (Hakuho) / 2 males (Magnum & White Dragon)3
ChinaHangzhou Polar Ocean World (aka Polar Ocean Park)Theme Park1 female (Babe) believed to be hybrid (brown bear / polar bear) from Belgrade Zoo. Some publicity suggests there may be a second bear here. (Polar Ocean World moves it bears around between its five sites so actual bear(s) here may differ)1
ChinaHarbin Polarland, Haerbin, HeilongjiangAquarium2 males (Bering & Malygin)2
ChinaNanjing Underwater WorldAquarium3 males (Terminator [aka Promitey], Bei Bei [aka Kuzja] & Xiao Bai (It is not certain that all three bears are still here)3
ChinaOcean Aquarium of PenglaiAquarium3 females / 1 male. two of the females are PengPeng and her cub Yilina born 19/12/2016. Female YuanYuan was born at the Aquarium 01/01/2012 and was hand-raised. We assume she is still there. Her father was Royce, and we assume he is a fourth bear at this facility. Information is sketchy.4
ChinaQuingdao Polar Ocean WorldAquarium1 male (Rostick, born Novosibirsk, Russia December 11, 2018) (Polar Ocean World moves it bears around between its five sites so actual bear(s) here may differ) 2
ChinaQujiang Polar Ocean World, Xi'anAquarium(Polar Ocean World moves it bears around between its five sites so actual bear(s) here may differ)2
China Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean WorldAquarium200 square meters, all indoors.1 female (name unknown) / 1 male (Pizza, born 05/03/2012 son of the female bear) (Polar Ocean World moves it bears around between its five sites so actual bear(s) here may differ)2
ChinaTiger Beach (Laihutan) Ocean Park, Dalian4
ChinaUnderwater World, Nantong1
ChinaWuhang Haichang Polar Ocean WorldMay be brown bear / polar bear hybrids not polar bears2
ChinaWuxi Ocean ParkUnder ConstructionStatement says polar bears will be housed at this new facility0
ChinaXiangjiang Safari Park, GuangzhouSafari Park & ZooProbably includes females Danya & Cukla and male Nord Enquiry message to facility sent 13/05/20185
China Totals 39 (38?)38
Czech RepublicBrno ZooZoo2 females (Cora & Noria) / 1 male (Umka)3
Czech RepublicPrague ZooZoo2 females (Berta & Bora) / 1 male (Tom)3
Czech Republic Totals4 females / 2 males66
DenmarkAalborg ZooZoo3 females (Malik & her two cubs Nuka & Quilak, born 26/11/2016) 3
DenmarkCopenhagen ZooZoo3 females (Noel& Lynn & her cub) / 1 male (Nord)4
DenmarkScandinavian Wildlife Park, KolindWildlife ParkPolar bear area opened 2006 and covers 26,000 square metres containing hills, logs and a lake. Viewing area is a 220 metre boardwalk. (Information from the park's excellent web site.)2 females (Ilka & Nuno) / 4 males (Ivan, Siku, Nanook & Nuuk [Nuuk has been castrated]) Ilka is the mother of Siku and Nuno.6
Denmark Totals 1313
EstoniaTallinn ZooZoo 2 females (Friida & Nora, born 24/11/2013) / 1 male (Nord). Friida was born in the zoo as was her and Nord's cub, Nora.3
FinlandRanua Wildlife ParkWildlife Park1 female (Venus) / 1 male (Sisu born 25/11/2016, cub of Venus). Sisu will likely be relocated in 2018 or 20192
FranceAmneville1 male (Tromso)1
FranceAntibes MarinelandCampaign in progress to shut facility. Serious concerns over hot climatic conditions and stereotypical behaviours1 female (Flocke) / 1 male (Raspoutine)2
FranceDe Cerza Zoo, Hermival-les-VauxZoo2 feamles (Simone & Nicky; sisters born November 2015)2
FranceLa Fleche1 male (Taiko, previously known as Siku)1
FranceMulhouse2 feamles (Sesi & Tina) 1 male (Vicks)3
FrancePalmyre Zoo, Les MatthesZooAt least two enclosures. Facility is old.2 females: Lale (born 16 December 2013 in Bremerhaven) & Noordje (born 16 December 2012 in Nuenen). Arrived March 2019 from Emmen. Vienna (female) deceased 13/01/2018 aged 28. Tania (female) deceased 03/12/2018 aged 23. Mani (male) deceased c20/12/2018 aged 32.2
FrancePeaugresSafari Park 1 female (Hallensia) / 1 male (Jonny)2
France TotalsVarious locations 1313
GermanyBerlin - Tierpark FriedrichsfeldeZoo 2 females: Tonja (born 14/11/2009) & her cub Hertha born 01/12/2018. 1 male: Volodya (born 27/11/2011 - cub's father) 3
GermanyBerlin ZooZoo1 female: Katyusha (born 16/11/1984)1
GermanyBremerhavenValeska / Lloyd2
GermanyZOOM Erlebniswelt,
Gelsenkirchen
ZooNot known3 females (Antonia, Lara, [born 01/12/2004 in Vienna] & Nanook [born in zoo to Lara 04/12/2017]) / 1 male (Bill [born 23/11/2007 Czech Republic; father of Nanook])4
GermanyHagenbeck Zoo, HamburgZooVictoria / Blizzard2
GermanyHannover2 females: Milana & Charlotte. 2 males: Sprinter & Nanuq (Nanuq is likely to be moved to Nuremberg during 2019)4
GermanyKarlsruheNika / Cape2
GermanyHellabrunn Zoo, MunchenZoo2 females (Giovnna & her daughter Quintana)2
GermanyNeumunsterVitus / Larissa2
GermanyNuremberg ZooZoo2,300 square metres including 600 square metre pool; renovations ireportedly in progress Spring 20191 female: Vera (born 21/11/2002)1
GermanyRostock ZooZooA new polar bear and penguin exhibit (the "Polarium") opened on 22 September 2018. Total area is 12,500 square metres. Rostock Zoo is the studbook keeper for polar bears in the European Endangered Species Programme.2 females: Noria (born 21 November 2015, Brno ) & Sizzel (born 2 September 2014, Rotterdam). 1 male: Akiak (born 22 November 2014,Rhenen)3
GermanyStuttgartCrinne (female) deceased 21/07/2018 aged 28.0
GermanyWuppertal Kluka / Anori2
Germany TotalsVarious locations 2828
HungaryBudapest Zoo & Botanical GardenZooPolar bear enclosure includes 350 cubic metre pool2 males (Belij & Serij), both born 28/11/2015 in Moscow Zoo). Arived Budapest March 20172
HungarySóstó Zoo (aka Nyíregyháza Zoo)Zoo1 female (Zora) / 1 male (Fiete)2
Hungary Totals1 female / 2 male44
ItalyZoo Safari FasanoZoo and Theme ParkNot known 2 females / 1 male3
JapanAdventureworld, Shirhama, WakayamaTheme Park1 female (Ohoto) / 1 male (Gogo) Ohoto gave birth to a male cub 21/11/20132
JapanAsahiyama Zoo, Hokkaidō3 females (Lulu, Pirika & Stsuki) / 1 male (Ivan)4
JapanCuddly Dominion, Aso, KumamotoZooFormerly known as Aso Bear ParkKaachan (female) deceased 09/02/2016 aged about 310
JapanHamamitsu Zoo2 females2
JapanHimeji City Zoo1 male1
JapanHirakawa Zoo1 female1
JapanKobe Oji Zoo1 female1
JapanKumamoto Zoo1 female1
JapanKushiro City Zoo (Kushiroshi Zoo)ZooZoo opened 19751 female (Milk, born 04/12/2012) / 1 male (Kiroru)2
JapanHigajhiyama Zoo, Nagoya1 male1
JapanShizuoka Municipal Nihondaira Zoo1 feamle, 1 male2
JapanObihoro Zoo1 female1
JapanOga Aquarium1 female, 1 male2
JapanSapporo Marayama Zoo, HokkaidōZooNew area opened 13/03/2018. Housed in a two-storey reinforced concrete building, the exhibit has a 1,500 sq metre breeding area. There is an 18 metre wide underwater tunnel in the 3.7 metre deep pool, allowing visitors to watch the bears swim overhead.3 females (Candy, Lara & Lira) / 1 male (Denali)4
JapanTennoji Zoo, OsakaZooIn the "Bear House". Relatively small area.1 female: Shilka (born 10/12/2013 Novosibirsk) arrived 28/05/2015) 1 male: Gogo (born 03/12/2003, Perm, arrived 03/12/2018)2
JapanTobe Zoo1 female1
JapanTokushina Zoo1 female1
JapanTokuyama Zoo, ShunanYuki (female) deceased 28/11/2016 aged about 31
JapanToyohushi Zoo1 female1
JapanUeno Zoo1 female, 1 male2
JapanYagiyama Zoo2 females, 1 male3
JapanYokohama Sea Paradise1 female, 1 male2
JapanYokohama Zoo (Zoorasia)2 females, 1 male3
Japan Totals3939
KazakhstanAlmaty ZooZooCage, said to be roughly 4 metres X 5 metres1 male (Alkor) (born 01/12/1989 in Kaliningrad11
LatviaRiga ZooZooIn March 2018 the plannedrebuilding of the polar bear area was announced with an extension planned and replacement of the concrete base with soil. 1 male (Romeo)11
MexicoBenito Juárez Zoological Park, MoreliaThere is an ongoing campaign to move Yupik to Yorkshire in the UKYupik (female) deceased 12/11/2018 aged 270
MexicoGuadalajara ZooConcrete and water, no natural substrate1 female (Agata)1
Mexico Totals 1 female 11
NetherlandsDiergaardo Blijdorp, RotterdamZoo2 females (Olinka & daughter Sizzel, born 02/12/2014) / 1 male (Todz, twin to Sizzel)3
NetherlandsDierenrijk Zoo, NuenenZooWe are investigating this facility at present3 females: Frimas & her 2 cubs, born . 1 male: Henk4
NetherlandsFriesland Aquazoo, LeeuwardenZoo 2 males (Felix & Nanu)2
NetherlandsOuvehands ZooZooThe enclosure includes rocks, a sandy tundra and a 1,000,000 litre pool3 females (Huggies, her daughter Freedom and her daughter Sura born 11/2014 / 1 male (Akiak, twin to Sura)4
NetherlandsWildlands Adventure Zoo, EmmenZoo Opened 2016, enclosure is 4,700 square metres4 females (Lale, Lili, Nela & Noordje)4
Netherlands Total1717
PolandWarsaw Zoological GardenZooEnclosure said to be 500 square metres2 males (Aluet & Gregor) (twins born 02/12/2010)22
RussiaUdmurtia State Zoological Park, IzhevskZooOpened 2008. Bears are in the "White North" exhibit.3 females (Dumka, Zabava & Purga) /2 males (Aion & Balou). Purga born winter 2017/18. Parents Aion and Dumka55
RussiaKazan Zoo
RussiaRoev-Ruchey Zoo, Krasnojrsk
RussiaMoscow Zoo
RussiaNovosibirsk ZooZoo1 female (Gerda) / 1 male (Kai) plus two cubs born December 11, 201822
RussiaPenza Zoo
RussiaPerm Zoo
RussiaRostov-on-Don Zoo
RussiaSeversk Zoo Park
RussiaLeningradsky Zoopark, St. Petersburg
RussiaSychovo (Moscow Zoo breeding centre)
RussiaKhabarovsk Zoo
Russia Totals 3737Bolsherechye?
SingaporeSingapore ZooZoo Not known 1 male (Inuka) born 26 December 1990. Died 25 April 2018. NOTE: In 2006 the Zoo announced it will bring no more polar bears to Singapore. 0
SerbiaBelgrade Zoo
South KoreaEverland, YonginTheme ParkThere are no plans to import further polar bears into South Korea1 male (Tongki) (born 19/11/1995) died in October 201800
SwedenOrsa Rovdjyrspark, Orson2 females (Ewa & Hope) / 1 male (Wilbar) 33
TajikistanThere were reports that there was a polar bear in a Tajikstan Zoo. We assume this would be Dushanbe Zoo but can find no record of such a bear. 0
ThailandSafari World, BangkokWildlife Park40 square metres including pool1 female (Udi) / 1 male (Igar)22
UkraineKharkov ZooZoo1 male (Tim)1
UkraineMykolaiv (Nikolaev) ZooZoo1 female (Zafirka) / 1 male (Nanuk) plus their cub born 08/12/2017 (sex unknown)3
Ukraine Totals2 females / 1 male / 1 cub sex unknown as at 14/05/201844
United KingdomYorkshire Wildlife Park, DoncasterWildlife Park10 acres. 1 male due to be transferred from Everland, South Korea (q.v.)4 males (Nissan, Nobby, Pixel & Victor)4
United KingdomRZSS Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig, Kingussie PH21 1NLWildlife Park 1 female (Victoria) / 3 males (Walker, Arctos & Hamish[ born 12/2017])4
United Kingdom Totals1 female / 7 males88
United States of AmericaABQ Bio Park Zoo, Albuquerque, New Mexico (aka Rio Grande Zoo) 2 males (Koluk & Kiska) (brothers)2
United States of AmericaAlaska Zoo, Anchorage 1 male (Lyutyik ["Louie"]) / 1 female (Cranbeary) arrived 24 Oct 20181
United States of AmericaBrookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois1 female (Nanuyaak ["Nan"]) / 1 male (Hudson)2
United States of AmericaBuffalo Zoo, Buffalo, New York1 female (Luna) / 1 male (Sakari)2
United States of AmericaCincinnati Zoo, Ohio1 female (Anana) / 1 male (Little One)2
United States of AmericaColumbus Zoological Gardens, Powell, Ohio2 females (Aurora & Anana [11 year old twins]. Lee (male) due to arrive before end of 2018.2
United States of AmericaComo Park Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul, Minnesota2 males (Neal & Buzz) (twins)2
United States of AmericaDenver Zoological Gardens, ColoradoZooWith departure of Cranbeary and Lee in October 2018 the exhibit was closed to be refurbished to house the zoo's two grizzly bears. The zoo hopes to fundraise to build a new polar bear exhibit.1 female (Cranbeary - 16 years old) / 1 male (Lee - 18 years old). Cranbeary to Alaska Zoo, Anchorage 24 Oct 2018 & Lee to Columbus Zoo, Ohio before end of 2018.2
United States of AmericaDetroit Zoological Park, Michigan1 female: Suka (born 21/11/2012) & 1 male Nuka (born 25/11/2004) Female cub born 28/11/2018 died 30/11/20182
United States of AmericaHenry Vilas Zoo, Madison, WisconsinHoused in the Arctic Passage Exhibit1 male (Nuniq, born 2016, son of Aurora) / 1 female (Berit) 2
United States of AmericaKansas City Zoo, Kansas1 female (Berlin) (female Bam Bam arrived from Omaha April 2018 and died February 19, 2019)1
United States of AmericaLincoln Park & Zoological Gardens, Chicago, Illinois1 female (Talini) / 1 male (Siku)2
United States of AmericaLouisville Zoo, Kentucky1 female (Qannik)1
United States of AmericaMaryland Zoo, Baltimore2 females ( Amelia Gray [born 2016, daughter of Anana], Neva [born 2016, daughter of Aurora] - arrived October 2018 from Columbus Zoo) (Anoki returned to Seneca Zoo on 18 September 2018)2
United States of AmericaMemphis Zoo, Tennessee1 female (Haley) / 1 male (Payton)2
United States of AmericaMilwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin1 female (Snow Lilly)1
United States of AmericaNorth Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina1 female (Anana) / 1 male (Nikita)2
United States of AmericaOmaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Omaha, NebraskaZoo & AquariumIncludes 30,000 US gallon tank1 female (Bam Bam) (aka Fanny) born in facility 29 November 1987 (moved to Kansas City Zoo in April 2018 - died February 2019)0
United States of AmericaOregon Zoo, Portland, Oregon New exhibit due 20180
United States of AmericaPittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Pennsylvania1 female (Snowflake) / 1 male (Koda)2
United States of AmericaPort Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma, WashingtonUpgraded exhibit due circa 20192 males (Blizzard & Boris)2
United States of AmericaSaint Louis Zoo, MissouriUpgraded exhibit opened 2015; designed to house 2 adult bears and up to 3 cubs1 male (Kali)1
United States of AmericaSan Diego Zoo, California2 females (Chinook & Tatqiq) / 1 male (Kalluk) (brother to Tatqiq)3
United States of AmericaSeneca Park Zoo, Rochester, New YorkZoo1 female: Anoki (born 20/11/1996)1
United States of AmericaToledo Zoo & Aquarium, Ohio1 female: Crystal (born 10/11/1998) 2 males: Marty (born 25/11/1996) & Borealis (born 09/12/2018)3
United States of America Utah's Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, Utah2 females: Hope, (born 03/12/2015) & Nora (born 06/11/2015)2
USA Totals24 female / 20 male4444
World Totals More than 290290
DOCUMENT VERSION: 20190418

Page updated 17 May 2019

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