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Polar Bear

Polar Bear

Common Name:
Polar Bear
Scientific Name:
Ursus maritimus
Gestation Period:
60 days
  • Marine
4 ft
8.5 ft
Life Span:
25 yrs
Number of Young:
1,200 lb

Did you know polar bears can sniff out a seal from 20 miles away? Learn more about polar bears.


Care & Wellness:

The two polar bear habitats are very different and provide unique experiences for the bears to investigate. To keep the bears cool, the floors in the Ice Cave are chilled by cold water running underneath and their pools are kept between 50 -  60°F.  Keepers train the bears to voluntarily take part in preventative health care. They also provide many items during the day to keep the bears stimulated physically and mentally.    

  • They lead a solitary and very nomadic lifestyle.
  • May cover 15 miles per day walking and have been seen swimming over 50 miles from shore
  • Hunt by waiting patiently next to a seal's breathing hole or stalking and then charging prey.
  • Pregnant females dig a den in late fall and stay there until the cubs are large enough to emerge and travel in spring.
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

Visit our polar bears at the Zoo's Rocky Coast.  

Learn more about reproduction in polar bears.

Fun Facts:
  • The black skin of the polar bear helps them absorb whatever heat is available.
  • Fur on the bottom of the feet provide additional traction on the snow and ice.
  • They can sniff out a seal from 20 miles away.
  • The blubber of seals is often eaten first because of its high energy content.
  • Sea ice is their habitat and they rely on it for hunting platforms, resting sites, and places to give birth.
A polar bear swimming past the underwater viewing area of its pool.