Getting Syke'd: Lake Superior Zoo introduces new black bear

Updated: March 05, 2021 08:54 PM
Created: March 05, 2021 05:27 PM

Once empty exhibits at the Lake Superior Zoo are getting residents again. 

This weekend, the zoo is introducing Syke, an 11-year-old black bear and the newest addition to the bear exhibit. 

He came from the Minnesota Zoo. Primary Carnivore Keeper Lizzy Larson said he's still getting used to his new digs.

"Right now, he's absolutely loving this little spot in the sunshine right by the windows, so it's fantastic for anybody who wants to come and see him," Larson said. 

He's a bit sleepy because it's still hibernation season. He weighs 440 pounds.

"Black bears are a smaller type of species of bear compared to the brown bears that we have right now. So Tundra and Banks are only a couple years old, and they are the same size as our black bear Syke here," Larson explained. 

Syke was one of three bears orphaned in northern Minnesota, so he's native to the area. Larson thinks it's important to get people up close and personal with some local species. 

"Being able to see those guys up close and see that they're not necessarily a threat, you don't have to be afraid of them," she said. "Definitely you don't want to get close to them, but you're able to spend some time and actually get to know these guys here at the zoo, and then you can hopefully appreciate them in the wild."

It's the first time the Lake Superior Zoo has had a black bear. 

The zoo is open Thursday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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