ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Detroit and Cincinnati zoos are mourning the loss of female polar bear Anana. She was killed during breeding with male polar bear Nuka on Monday, the Detroit Zoo said in a release.
Anana was 20 years old and from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Michelle Curley, the Cincinnati Zoo's spokeswoman, said the situation is very sad.
The two bears had lived together "without incident" since 2020, according to the Detroit Zoological Society's Chief Life Sciences Officer, Scott Carter.
"This was completely unexpected and the Detroit Zoo staff is devastated by the loss of Anana in this sudden and tragic event,” Carter said.
This is the second killing of an animal by another animal at the Detroit Zoo since 1988. That incident also involved polar bears.
Anana and 16-year-old Nuka were re-introduced to one another last week as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Polar Bear Species Survival Plan. The program aims to sustain endangered species. There was recent success with the birth of two polar bear cubs, fathered by Nuka and another female polar bear at the Detroit Zoo.
The zoo says Nuka has been with them since 2011 and has bred with several other female polar bears without showing harmful behavior.