With the completion of extensive renovations to the Zoo’s original bear enclosures, the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre is capable of housing and transitioning orphaned polar bear cubs and at risk polar bears found in northern Manitoba.

Visit the Manitoba Sustainable Development website to learn more about polar bears in Manitoba.

Bears in Care

Polar bears can only be brought from the wild into our Zoo under very special circumstances. If an orphaned polar bear cub, which would normally die without its mother, is found , it may be a candidate to be rescued and placed in the transition program at the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre. This determination is made by Manitoba Sustainable Development, the branch of government responsible for the protection of wildlife resources in our province.

If the bear is deemed to be a candidate for the transition program, Zoo staff work with wildlife officials to safely transport it to the Centre. All new animals coming to the Zoo undergo a 30 day quarantine period. At the Centre the bear is cared for and transitioned to life in a zoological environment. Polar bears may eventually be moved to other accredited facilities to act as ambassadors for Churchill, Manitoba, and the species. In this role they are meant to connect people to northern ecosystems and to cause them to make changes in their lifestyle to conserve these regions.

Polar Bear transition to the Centre is carried out under the direction of Manitoba Sustainable Development in compliance with provincial legislation:

Polar Bear Protection Act | Amendment | The Wildlife Act

To protect polar bears that are moved out of the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre, Manitoba retains ownership of all bears and their offspring. The Centre's Advisory Board is responsible for making recommendations to the Minister regarding polar bear transfers to other facilities.

Polar Bear IPBCC