ROYAL OAK — The Detroit Zoo has something “beary” special planned for Saturday, May 18 in celebration of Bear Awareness Week. The zoo will host free activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the award-winning Arctic Ring of Life to increase awareness of energy conservation and the effect it has on the survival of bears in the wild.
The day’s activities will include zookeeper talks at the Arctic Ring of Life at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Guests can make “green pledges” to conserve energy and hang them on a giving tree, and kids can decorate light switch covers with green messages to take home as a reminder to conserve energy.
“The hope is that our million-plus visitors each year leave here with a greater understanding of the issues facing bears and other wildlife and the realization that everyone can do something to conserve energy and help save the animals’ habitats,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society.
The Detroit Zoo is home to nine bears of four species, including five grizzly bears, two polar bears, a black bear and a brown bear. Mike, Thor and Boo are 2-year-old grizzly cubs that were rescued from Alaska and brought to the Zoo in December 2011 after their mother was shot and killed. The brothers joined two other rescued grizzly bears — 29-year-old female Kintla and 28-year-old male Lakota — both of which arrived at the zoo as 2-year-olds.
Female polar bear Talini was born at the Detroit Zoo in 2004. Nuka, an 8-year-old male, arrived at the Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life in 2011 as a mate for Talini. Migwan, an 11-year-old female black bear that arrived at the Detroit Zoo in October 2002, was found as a cub near Gladwin with porcupine quills in her face. Polly, a 16-year-old female brown bear, was used in a travelling circus and donated to the zoo in 2000.