Chicago polar bear Anana stays inside at Lincoln Park Zoo because of polar vortex

"She doesn’t typically enjoy the very cold much," says zoo spokesperson.
Posted By Evan Bleier  |  Jan. 8, 2014 at 7:38 AM
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The polar vortex isn’t just tough on humans; it’s even been too much for an animal that bears its name.

The only polar bear at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Anana, was being kept in a "climate-controlled" area on Monday in order to take a break from the below-zero temperatures that are plaguing the Second City. Temperatures in the controlled area were estimated to be between 40 and 50 degrees.

"She doesn’t typically enjoy the very cold much," said zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar. "Few of us are accustomed to this cold."

The 12-year-old bear doesn’t have the same layer of blubber fat that she would have in the wild because the city has an overall warmer climate than the Arctic.

Anana could have blubber layer as thick as five inches, but in Chicago, "typically they wouldn’t need that insulation and it would make them uncomfortable going into summer," Dewar said.

According to the zoo, Anana decided to change things up a bit on Tuesday.

“Polar bear Anana may have opted to dodge the cold yesterday, but caregivers report she's explored her outdoor yard a couple times this morning,” the zoo wrote on Facebook. “She always has the option to stay inside her cozy den, of course!”

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