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Zoo Boise welcomes new sloth bear

Photo: Image by Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise welcomes new sloth bear

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Sep 4, 2014

Zoo Boise has welcomed a new animal to the zoo -- a male sloth bear named “Jack.” The 8-year-old sloth bear comes from the Fort Worth Zoo, and has been matched with Zoo Boise’s female sloth bear, “Paji,” through the Sloth Bear Species Survival Program, according to Boise Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Amy Stahl.

“The SSP is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s many conservation programs. Its primary role is to serve as a breeding program for selected endangered or threatened species. With only 4,000 to 5,000 sloth bears remaining in the wild, the goal of the SSP is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population for these animals in order to increase their numbers and be able to reintroduce certain zoo-bred animals into their natural habitats, if necessary,” Stahl said.

In the wild, sloth bears are solitary except during mating season and when females are raising young.

Zoo Boise’s sloth bears will each rotate between two exhibit spaces, the original sloth bear exhibit and a newly renovated exhibit next to it. Zoo officials say this will give “Paji” and “Jack” additional exhibit space to explore on their own.

Zookeepers will slowly introduce the two bears during breeding season next summer.

Located in Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.