November 26, 2008

Zoo’s non-mating polar bears both female

Zookeepers in Kushiro, Japan, said they have discovered the problem preventing their pair of polar bears from mating -- the animals are both female.

The zookeepers said the Kushiro municipal zoo obtained a polar bear named Tsuyoshi three years ago as a cub and officials said they were baffled when the bear refused to mate with the zoo's 11-year-old female, Kurumi, after the animals were introduced in June, CNN reported Wednesday.

Zoo officials said Tsuyoshi was put under anesthesia earlier in November to determine what was preventing the bear from making advances toward Kurumi. The officials said they were shocked to discover the bear is a female.

Yoshio Yamaguchi, head of the zoo, said Tsuyoshi will be allowed to keep her home and her name.

I have rather mixed feelings, given the need for breeding, but Tsuyoshi is an idol for Kushiro, Yamaguchi told the Kyodo news agency.