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Thompson Park Zoo announces new bear

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The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park on Thursday introduced a yearling female black bear cub to its collection of animals.

Zoo Executive Director John T. Wright said the bear appeared to do well with limited human interaction, but still needed time to adjust to someone coming in to rake or use a hose near her containment area.

“We’ll be working with her to learn her personality, which I think will help us care for her better,” he said.

Zoo staff is working to find out her favorite foods, and show her how to go into and out of the exhibit space.

The unnamed cub was confiscated from a facility in southern New York and transferred to the zoo by workers from Regions 4 and 8 of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The bear arrived at the zoo late Thursday afternoon.

Unsure of the bear’s diet and medical care at her previous facility, which did not have the appropriate paperwork to keep her, zoo officials have been monitoring her diet and checking her feces to ensure her health.

Mr. Wright said that so far the bear appeared to be in good shape, but cautioned that some issues may not be visible until the bear gets older.

The zoo’s press release, sent Friday afternoon, said the bear was in great condition after traveling for about six hours, and settled in almost immediately. The release also said the bear would get more access to her exhibit as she becomes more accustomed to her new surroundings.

“Once we’re feeling comfortable we’ll do a more official debut for her,” Mr. Wright said.

The zoo director said his staff has worked to better maintain the exhibit’s green spaces to make the bear easier for zoo visitors to see.

The new bear cub comes only a few months after the zoo had to euthanize a pair of 20-year-old black bears, Roswell and Fleur, after issues with advanced lung cancer and kidney failure, respectively.

Video featuring the zoo’s new bear cub can be found at http://wdt.me/FwS2sC.

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