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Blizzard: Polar Bear Is Internet Star in Baltimore

Jan 28, 2016 02:20 PM EST
Polar bear at the Buffalo Zoo
While this is a photo of a polar bear at the Buffalo Zoo, one named Anoki at the Maryland Zoo recently experienced Internet fame by rolling in snow from the recent blizzard, as well as burying her bouncy ball and letting it spring up.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

While it's somewhat less surprising to see a polar bear enjoying a heavy snowfall than a Giant Panda, it's still evidence that some animals on Earth are really keen to hang out in some good, cold, solid precipitation.

A female polar bear named Anoki at the Maryland Zoo recently rolled in apparent happiness in the blizzard drifts in Baltimore. She also buried her bouncy ball and let it spring up again. 

While Anoki was thriving in the snow, she wasn't living in a snow den, which she would do if she were pregnant and living in the wild. While zoo-keepers saw Anoki and another bear, Magnet, breed in the spring of 2015, she is likely not pregnant this time around. Each fall, the female bear is given access to a small dark room filled with straw beginning in October, so that if her instincts tell her to dig and build up a den there, she has the space to do that, according to the Maryland Zoo's website

In general, though, polar bears do not hibernate; only black and brown bears do that. If a female polar bear is pregnant, she dens and relies on her own fat reserves to sustain her and the cubs in the den. For polar bears, the heart rate and temperature don't decrease in winter -- so if cubs result in the den, they can stay warm.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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