Kali (pronounced “Cully”), a 2 ½-year-old, 850-pound male polar bear that was orphaned in Alaska as a cub, is now resting comfortably in the Saint Louis Zoo’s new McDonnell Polar Bear Point exhibit, which is set to open June 6.
Kali’s transportation on May 5 from Rochester, New York, to St. Louis was donated by FedEx. The Saint Louis Zoo’s veterinarian and animal care staff accompanied him on the day-long journey, which included a FedEx Express flight from Rochester to Memphis, and a temperature-controlled truck transport via FedEx Custom Critical from Memphis to St. Louis.
Kali will make his public debut when the exhibit opens on June 6, after a 30-day quarantine period. Quarantine is a standard procedure for animals that have been transferred from other zoos to allow them to acclimate to their new home and diet, and most importantly to prevent the introduction of pathogens among animals in the care of conservation organizations.
“Kali arrived safe and sound and is adjusting nicely to his new surroundings,” said Saint Louis Zoo Curator of Carnivores Steve Bircher.
Kali’s new 40,000-square-foot home will offer visitors a 22-foot viewing window, where the bear can come right up to the glass to greet guests. The sea water area features a 1,000-square-foot Arctic room with a four-panel viewing wall.