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Seneca Park Zoo polar bear part of a conservation project

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Monroe County
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Monroe County’s Seneca Park Zoo is partnering with a program at the Cincinnati Zoo as part of a polar bear conservation project.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says that Seneca Park Zoo is working with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) in the development of reproductive technologies used to artificially inseminate Anoki, the Seneca Park Zoo’s 22-year-old polar bear.

Dinolfo says with the dramatic decline of the polar bear population worldwide, and only eleven breeding pairs of polar bears still in American zoos, conservation is critical.

The zoo in Rochester has a history of working with the Cincinnati zoo. Aurora, who was Anoki’s mother, was the first polar bear ever to undergo an artificial insemination procedure in 2012. That attempt, and the handful of attempts with polar bears since then, have not resulted in cubs.

This is the third attempt of artificial insemination with Anoki. The first two procedures were conducted when Anoki lived at the Maryland Zoo.

A procedure conducted for Anoki earlier this week involved the use of hormone therapy. Officials say it won’t be determined if the artificial insemination was successful for many months.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.