Como Zoo soon will reduce its polar bear population by half.

Suka and Sakari, 2½-year-old bears who have been at the zoo since September, will move into the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wis., for the grand opening of its Arctic Passage exhibit on Memorial Day, according to a Como Zoo news release.

Zoo staff called the brother and sister bears playful when they joined the zoo from Ohio’s Toledo Zoo in September. The bears have proved to be a popular exhibit with the St. Paul zoo’s visitors.

The two bears have been separated from the older and much larger resident polar bears, Neil and Buzz, in Como’s Polar Bear Odyssey for the past five months, the release said.

The bears will remain in the Odyssey habitat for at least the next month as plans for their move develop, according to the release.

Friday was International Polar Bear Day, the release said.


Anne Millerbernd is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.