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Polar bear Anana leaves zoo for species survival plan

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Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 11:37:11-05

The Buffalo Zoo is losing one of its big, lovable bears.

Sixteen-year-old polar bear Anana will be leaving the zoo after living there for 14 years as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.

The Buffalo Zoo says although not as playful as her daughter Luna, Anana will be remembered for her sassy nature, her love of big blue barrels and how she loved to swim the backstroke in her pool at Arctic Edge.

"With a declining population, Anana's genes are vital to polar bear survival," said Buffalo Zoo President and CEO Dr. Donna Fernandes. "Anana is one of a small set of females in North America that has given birth in the past five years while in human care, and we are thrilled to participate in every effort related to conservation of this vulnerable species."

According to the most recent International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, there are only about $26,000 polar bears left in the wild. The IUCN lists the polar bear as a vulnerable species.

The Buffalo Zoo is inviting the public to say bye to Anana this weekend and she prepares to leave for her new home. The Buffalo Zoo is not releasing the name of the destination Zoo at that facility's request.