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TORONTO, ON Thursday, February 25, 2016:Toronto Zoo is very excited to announce our growing female polar bear cub has reached a new milestone by transitioning to the outside den and polar bear maternity area. The polar bear cub, named Juno, will be making her public debut on International Polar Bear Day, Saturday, February 27, 2016. Zoo guests will be able to visit Juno in her outdoor den and maternity area from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and then again from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily*. This schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the polar bear house to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to continue to closely monitor her progress.

Since the cub is three-months-old, she still requires a lot of sleep and usually naps after she has had some playtime following each meal. While we encourage visitors to come and meet our polar bear cub ambassador, we also ask that they respect her "quiet times". A growing bear needs her rest!

The name Juno, which started out as a nickname, has been confirmed as the official name for the Toronto Zoo’s female polar bear cub. Since Juno was born on Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, Toronto Zoo Staff gave her this nickname in honor of ‘Juno Beach’. The Canadian landings on the Juno Beach Sector of the Normandy coast were one of the most successful operations carried out on D-Day, during World War II. Zoo staff made the nickname official, as it embodies Canadian pride which is fitting as polar bears are Canada’s national treasures. Toronto Zoo is Canada’s national leader in saving wildlife, including polar bear populations, to ensure the rich diversity of nature for future generations.

"I am very proud to welcome this newest member of the Canadian Army family,” said Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army. “Aptly named Juno, she will stand as a living example of the bravery, tenacity and strength of our soldiers who were instrumental to the success of D-Day operations on the shores of Normandy in 1944."

The now three-month-old cub represents a heartwarming journey of survival, one where expert Toronto Zoo Wildlife Health and Wildlife Care staff worked around the clock to save a vulnerable species. Juno, just like her brothers Hudson and Humphrey, are great Arctic Ambassadors for polar bears everywhere. These ambassadors help to spread the word on how each person can make a difference and help save this vulnerable species and raise awareness about how our daily actions are contributing to climate change and impacting polar bears through the melting of the Arctic sea ice. The Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek area focuses on climate change and its effects on species conservation.

"With our ongoing research to help save polar bears, one of the Toronto Zoo's main missions is to bring awareness of the plight of polar bears in the wild. The Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek area focuses on climate change and its effects on species conservation within this region," said John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo. "Toronto Zoo is proud to work closely with many partners who are at the forefront of polar bear conservation helping to save this iconic Canadian species."

"On behalf of the Board of Management, I want to commend the Zoo staff for their outstanding expertise. Juno's incredible journey is one that demonstrates the passion and dedication of the Toronto Zoo’s Wildlife Care, Wildlife Health and Nutrition Teams,” said Raymond Cho, Chair. “The Toronto Zoo is very proud to be participating in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Juno is the latest ambassador for this success story.”

As a leader in conservation and species survival, the Toronto Zoo is involved in collaborative research projects with multiple accredited zoos and organizations to help better understand polar bear reproductive biology, and provide valuable information to support polar bear education, research and conservation efforts in the wild. These organizations include Polar Bears International (PBI), Parks Canada, the North American Species Survival Program (SSP), and Acres for the Atmosphere.

In celebration of International Polar Bear Day, come out and take part in the many events taking place at the Zoo on Saturday, February 27th, 2016! CLICK HERE for more information on Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear Fest and Special Presentation: Conserving the Polar Bear (*Pre-registration required).

To support our work in polar bear conservation DONATE HERE.

Toronto Zoo Media Contacts:
Cynthia Shipley, Manager of Public Relations and Events or #416-258-1760

Amanda Chambers, Supervisor of Public Relations and Events or #647-625-4369

Please CLICK HERE for more information on Polar Bear Conservation at the Toronto Zoo.

*subject to change without notice.

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