Como Zoo trainer and zoo keeper Brianna Larson worked with Neil, one of the zoo's 16-year-old twin polar bears. She opened her hand to get him to open his mouth so she could check for any potential gum or teeth problems, then she had him rise by extending her hands in the air and had him sit. For each of these things he received one of his favorite treats, sticks of frozen lard. Zoo keepers usually check Neil and his brother Buzz every day. Monday, February 6, 2012.
Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune
Chill out Monday for the polar bears
- February 25, 2012 - 9:40 PM
The Como Zoo wants you to throw on some extra clothes and turn down your thermostat by 2 degrees Monday in honor of International Polar Bear Day.
The event, called "Bundle Up for Polar Bears," aims to raise awareness of how daily actions affect the bears' natural habitat.
Michelle Furrer, director of Como Zoo and Conservatory, said turning down the heat and reducing our carbon footprint can slow and possibly reduce climate change, which causes sea ice to melt.
"Polar bears rely on the sea ice for reaching their prey. By taking part in this initiative, we can each show our commitment to a healthier planet," Furrer said.
Neil and Buzz, the bears who live at the Como Zoo, come by their warmth naturally through their fur.
The zoo is a member of Polar Bears International, the world's leading conservation group.
Participants are encouraged to post photos of themselves bundled up on the zoo's Facebook page.
© 2013 Star Tribune