North Carolina’s polar bear couple is feeling the love, with zookeepers hoping that the third year of breeding for the Arctic pair could bring tiny bundles of joy later this year.
This is the third breeding season for Nikita, a 1,203-pound, 10-year-old male, and Anana, a 796-pound, 18-year-old female, since they became a couple, said Jennifer Ireland, the North Carolina Zoo’s curator of mammals.
There are only 11 breeding pairs of polar bears in the entire nation, Ireland said, so cubs – usually born in twos – would be incredibly significant to the population and the future of the vulnerable species.
Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of polar bear mating season, which is the only time of the year the normally solitary animals get together.
“We keep them separated the rest of the year since we’re trying to replicate as natural behaviors as we can,” Ireland said. “They tell …