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Meet the twin cubs Suka and Sakari
Ice to meet you
Our twin polar bear cubs, Suka and Sakari, were born in November, 2012. See them in the Arctic Encounter®, one of the nation’s top polar bear exhibits.
Mother: Crystal, 14 years old; previous offspring include a male cub in 2009 and twin cubs in 2006
Father: Marty, 16 years old. Male polar bears do not stay with their cubs.
Suka (pronounced SOO-kah): The female cub. Her name means fast in the Inuit language.
Sakari (pronounced Suh-KAR-ee): The male cub. His name means sweet in the Inuit language.
Photo credit for image at right: Randi Meyerson
Learn more about our Behind the Scenes Tours—including an Arctic Encounter® tour with limited opportunities to see the cubs
“This is the fourth litter of polar bears the Zoo has had since 2006,” Dr. Randi Meyerson, curator of mammals, said. “I credit our success to high-quality animal care, the staff’s relationship with the animals, the bears’ good temperaments and an outstanding facility. When the Arctic Encounter® opened in 2000, it was a state-of-the-art facility, and it still is.”
Photo credit: Roy Katalan
The Zoo’s cubs have an important future as ambassadors for a species, protected under the Endangered Species Act, which faces grave threats in their native habitat. As the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere increases—primarily from oil- and coal-burning activities—Arctic sea ice is melting. Polar bears depend on this ice to live; they cannot survive on land or in ice-free water.
By decreasing our carbon footprint, we can slow the warming of the atmosphere and offer wild polar bears a chance at survival. Some easy, but meaningful, actions are below. As a bonus, many of them save you money, too!
- don’t let your car’s engine idle when you’re not driving
- combine errands to decrease the number of miles you drive
- declutter your car (every pound of extra weight requires more fuel)
- ride a bike or walk for nearby errands (it saves you money and keeps you healthy)
- use cloth towels rather than paper towels
- raise your thermostat a few degrees this summer
- ditch plastic water bottles (often the water in them is no better, or even worse than, water from the tap)
- recycle any plastic you use
- carry your groceries in a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag
- buy energy-efficient appliances
- buy local products (saving the fuel costs to transport them long distances)
- plant native plants (they need less water and care than non-native plants)
- use cold water in your washing machine
- unplug appliances that you don’t use
- use rechargeable batteries
- grow a garden instead of a lawn
- install a rainwater barrel to collect rainwater for your garden
- fix dripping faucets
Watch the video below to see clips of the cubs and Crystal in their off-exhibit den when the cubs were approximately two months old:
Enjoy a two minute segment featuring Suka and Sakari as they explore their exhibit with their mother Crystal then jump in the water for some swimming, ball games, and light wrestling.
Watch the cubs in action in our fun TV spot:
What are the cubs doing today? Visit our animal web cams page and watch the two polar bear cams—you just may see Suka and Sakari in action…LIVE!
Polar Bear Cubs Zoo PAL Promotion
To celebrate the birth of our twin polar bear cubs, the Toledo Zoo is offering a promo that is twice the fun!
When you enroll someone special in the Zoo PAL animal sponsorship program for the polar bear cubs, for just $40 you receive an exciting gift package. It includes an adorable plush polar bear, a frame-worthy certificate with embedded photo of the cubs with their mother, and the opportunity to meet some of the staff and volunteers who take care of the animals at the Zoo at our annual Zoo PAL Night. Your one-of-a-kind gift also helps in the care and feeding of these precious cubs. Donations of $100 or more, $200 or more, and $500 or more also receive the added benefits described in the Donation Structure on our Zoo PAL page.
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