ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Detroit Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its female polar bears, Anana. She was killed during breeding with male polar bear, Nuka, on Monday, the organization said in a release.
Anana was 20 years old.
The two bears lived together "without incident" since 2020, according to the Detroit Zoological Society's Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter.
"This was completely unexpected and the Detroit Zoo staff is devastated by the loss of Anana in this sudden and tragic event,” Carter said.
This is the second killing of an animal by another animal at the zoo since 1988. That incident also involved polar bears.
Anana and 16-year-old Nuka were re-introduced to one another last week as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Polar Bear Species Survival Plan. The program aims to sustain endangered species. There was recent success with the birth of two polar bear cubs, fathered by Nuka and another female polar bear at the Detroit Zoo.
The zoo says Nuka has been with them since 2011 and has bred with several other female polar bears without showing harmful behavior.