With the completion of extensive renovations to the Zoo’s original bear enclosures, the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) is capable of housing and transitioning orphaned polar bear cubs found within the Polar Bear Alert Program Area control zones in northern Manitoba. The largest control zone is the Polar Bear Alert area around Churchill, Manitoba.
Polar bears can only be brought from the wild into our Zoo under very special circumstances. If an orphaned polar bear cub, which would normally die without its mother, is found within the control zones of a northern Manitoba community, it may be a candidate to be rescued and put in the IPBCC transition program. This determination is made by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, the branch of government responsible for the protection of wildlife resources in our province, in consultation with the Zoo.
If the cub is deemed to be a candidate for the transition program, it will be transported to the IPBCC, where it will be cared for and transitioned to life in a captive environment. Cubs will eventually be moved to other accredited facilities to act as ambassadors for Churchill, Manitoba, and the species.
Polar Bear transition to the IPBCC is carried out under the direction of Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship in compliance with provincial legislation:
In September 2011, the Assiniboine Park Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global announced a new joint effort in the international cause of polar bear conservation. This collaboration will see the two organizations working to educate the public on issues related to the conservation of polar bears through interpretive programming at the IPBCC.
San Diego Zoo Global will support education and research efforts taking place within the IPBCC as well as ongoing research initiatives related to polar bears in cooperation with like-minded organizations. An important part of this collaborative effort is the ongoing work of the San Diego organization to share its knowledge and expertise as part of the program’s development.
Staff exchanges, information sharing and joint research projects are just a few components of the collaboration that will mutually benefit both the Assiniboine Park Zoo and the San Diego Zoo.