Humphrey was born on Saturday, November 9, 2013, to mom Aurora and dad Inukshuk, two of the Toronto Zoo’s adult polar bear residents. Humphrey quickly became a very special part of the Toronto Zoo, weighing only 700 grams when he joined the Zoo’s intensive care unit in the Wildlife Health Centre. Humphrey was raised by a team of veterinarians and animal care experts, who continuously managed and monitored his temperature, weight, nutrition and overall health as a newborn and small cub. At four months old, Humphrey became strong enough to move into the Tundra Trek, where he made his public debut. Keepers began behavioural training with Humphrey right away, which included scale training, teaching him to open his mouth for oral examinations and raising his paws so keepers could safely inspect his overall health. Humphrey became known for his playful and curious nature, and drew crowds of visitors daily.
Now at just over a year and three months old, Humphrey will embark on an exciting journey to a new home at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. This 10-acre, state-of-the-art polar bear habitat is currently home to six other polar bears, including his brother Hudson, who moved to Winnipeg from the Toronto Zoo in January 2013.
This move for Humphrey signifies the next step in his behavioural development. In his first year, Toronto Zoo staff worked towards transitioning a dependent newborn into an independent youngster. The next step is for him to be socialized with other polar bears to further his development towards becoming an adult bear.
Humphrey will be leaving after Family Day weekend, be sure to visit and wish him farewell before he leaves for Winnipeg. The Toronto Zoo is proud to have had a role in the raising of Humphrey the polar bear and to have witnessed his growth from a newborn to a healthy, 1 year old polar bear. We wish him all the best in his new home!
For Humphrey’s full story click here
Polar Bear Conservation:
The Toronto Zoo’s breeding program works closely with other Zoological associations and conservation institutions including an important partnership with Polar Bears International. The knowledge gained from our efforts with captive polar bears provides the necessary foundation for understanding population dynamics in the wild and gives field researchers the tools they need to create conservation plans to help species survival. This is very important as biologists estimate there are only approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild with approximately 60% of those living in Canada.
"As a leader in conservation efforts, and Canada's premier zoo, we have a responsibility to support all research efforts to help this iconic Canadian species through our Conservation, Education and Research Programs. The information gained through the Zoos breeding programs provide invaluable information that is shared internationally and is essential for the survival of this magnificent species". Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals.