PHOTOS: Nashville Zoo welcomes 10-year-old Andean bear
The bear named Pinocchio arrived in July and has slowly been acclimating to his new environment.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Nashville Zoo announced the arrival of a 10-year-old Andean bear from Maryland.
Pinocchio was transferred from Salisbury Zoo in July and has slowly been acclimating to his new environment, the zoo said. The bear had to undergo a standard quarantine period before zoo guests could visit.
The Nashville Zoo was selected to house Pinocchio as part of a species survival plan, and he will soon be introduced as a breeding partner to the zoo’s female Andean bear, Luka.
Pinocchio was rescued as an abandoned cub in Ecuador and eventually deemed unfit for wilderness release, according to the Nashville Zoo. He arrived at the Salisbury Zoo in 2017, where he fathered three cubs.
“Nashville Zoo is excited to continue the conservation efforts for this vulnerable species and hope to replicate Pinocchio’s prior breeding success,” the zoo said in a release.
Andean bears are considered vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to deforestation. The zoo said an estimated 18,000 Andean bears exist in the wild.
The habitat is open for Nashville Zoo guests now.
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