Old polar bear genes are good if pass cardio. test will get chance at love

Will love be in the air for these two polar mates?nanuqx

Shake off the old bachelor life Nanuk your young lady is waiting.

With the help of a few qualified human matchmakers, Nanuq the aging polar bear seen here after a swim in 2004 at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin has made a date in Buffalo with Anana. Zoo officials are hoping it leads to a meaningful relationship — and offspring. “He will be there in Buffalo awhile,” says Jim Hubing, director of the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wis. “They will know probably by late summer or early fall if she has conceived.”

Nanuq is considered a good catch as a mating partner, says Donna Fernandes, head of the Buffalo Zoo. He was captured in the wild as a cub in 1987 and thus, unlike polar bears born in captivity, brings a unique new genetic code to the party. In 1987 Nanuq is 22 polar bear and  his brother Norton were saved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after their mother was shot by a hunter. Nanuq was flown to Henry Vilas Zoo the in 1988 . Unmated he has had a good bachelor life, but he will now be transport to Buffalo this month in a specially outfitted truck. There Nanuq will be introduced to his first potential mate 8-year-old Anana, who was born in captivity. Both are first timers at this thing called love.Now Nanuk is an old man in polar bear years so vets with give him cardio tests before anything exciting happens. Just to make sure his ticker can handle the excitement. “This is like an 80-year-old male with a 20-year-old female,” Fernandes says. “We’re hoping it works.” If successful and offspring come it will allow the gene pool to expand for polar bears. – Good luck to all of you.-Mother Nature

Polar bears were added last year to the list of threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and scientists used careful genetic matching to pair the two bears to ensure genetic diversity.

Resources

Polar bears to take dip in gene pool – William M. Welch, USA TODAY November 15, 2009.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-02-15-Polarbear_N.htm

Image courtesy of  USA Today and Steve Apps, Wisconsin State Journal

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