Idaho Falls - This Thursday is your last chance to see Pabu, the young male sloth bear, before he moves on to new adventures!
Idaho Falls Zoo is pleased to announce the male sloth bear cub (“Pabu”) born at the Idaho Falls Zoo in late 2016 will be moving to Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas on Friday. The move is part of the sloth bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) managed through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
“We are going to miss the silly antics and big personality of this mischievous little guy,” says Carnivore Keeper Dallas LaDucer, “but it’s time for him to begin a new phase in his life.”
Because the Idaho Falls Zoo is accredited by AZA, the management of the sloth bears in accredited institutions is advised by a national SSP developed and reviewed annually by a team of experts from across the country. The purpose of the program is to monitor sloth bears at AZA accredited zoos to ensure their wellbeing, overall species genetic health and survival. The sloth bear SSP has recommended Pabu’s move to Little Rock. He is an important step forward for the long-term health of the sloth bear species and the goal is to pair him with a female in hopes of someday having a breeding pair.
“Sloth bear cubs stay with their moms for around two years and mom will start encouraging the cub to move on when they’re a little over a year old,” says Darrell Markum, general curator. “It’s a perfect time for Pabu to move to his new home at Little Rock Zoo and we know he’ll have a wonderful home in Arkansas.”
Now’s your chance to see Pabu enjoy the new climbing structure in his exhibit for a few more days. “He’s quite entertaining to watch right now,” says LaDucer. “He hangs upside down, explores the objects hanging off the structure, and searches for treats we’ve hidden inside. At this age, he is very energetic.”
Sloth bears are listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Human population growth causing higher demands for natural resources is the biggest threat to wild sloth bear populations. Sloth bears live predominately in India.
Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Bud Cranor.