Today at approximately 12:30 pm, the Zoo’s two polar bears cubs made their way into a keeper work area behind-the-scenes at Polar Bear Watch. During the entire situation, which was fully resolved by 1:10 pm, the bears were maintained in a secure area. There were no injuries to staff or the animals.

Keepers were in an office area in Polar Bear watch when they observed the young bears enter the secondary holding area. They called for assistance and the animal response team immediately went to Polar Bear Watch to assess the situation. During this time, the bears went back through their dens and outside into Polar Bear Watch.  As a result, staff were able to safely secure the bears in their outdoor habitat. 

Maryland Zoo staff are trained to respond to unexpected situations. The animal response team routinely conducts on-site drills to prepare for a variety of scenarios that could occur at the Zoo including animal escapes, human or animal injuries and severe weather.  The Zoo credits this training with the quick response and resolution that prevented the situation from becoming dangerous for the bears or for anyone involved. 

The public was never at risk during this time. Guests were moved into the Penguin Coast Education Center, the Tundra Buggy and the Zoo reception area as part of the Zoo’s response protocol.  Zoo staff will be reviewing the incident, as well as the incident response, and will make changes in procedures as necessary.

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