Polar Bears Safe After Wandering Into Behind-the-Scenes Area at the Cincinnati Zoo

Posted March 16, 2016

CINCINNATI, OH (March 16, 2016) – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s polar bears “Little One” and “Berit” took advantage of an open den door earlier today and found themselves in the exhibit’s behind-the-scenes service hallway.  Keepers quickly secured the building and notified vet staff that the curious bears had entered the exhibit’s secondary containment zone.

“The double-containment system that we have in place in the polar bear exhibit worked. The bears entered an inappropriate area but did not leave the building and the public was never at risk,” said Zoo Director Thane Maynard.  “We took the situation seriously and, as a precaution, gave guests the option to move indoors or leave.”

There were no injuries to the bears, keepers or visitors. “Zoo staff followed protocols that we have in place and were able to safely return the bears to their primary holding area in under two hours,” said Maynard.

Guests were given the all clear around 1:30 p.m., and the Zoo returned to business as usual.

Berit, the Zoo’s 17-year-old female, and Little One, her 26-year-old mate, are currently resting in their den and will be back on exhibit as early as this Friday.