Polar Bears in the Alaska Zoo sure to relish new giant pickle toy

Apr 27th, 2019 | By | Category: Alaska

27.4.2019 – Source: The Alaska Zoo, Photos by John Gomes

The most wonderful time of the year arrived early for the Alaska Zoo’s polar bears Cranbeary and Lyutyik when they received a new pickle toy. The giant pickle gift was part of a fundraiser that kicked off on International Polar Bear Day, Feb. 27.

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The Alaska Zoo partnered with local, aptly named restaurant Polar Dip to raise funds to get the toy for the zoo’s two resident bears. To raise funds, Polar Dip introduced the Cranbeary Special to its menu, a turkey and cheddar melt with cranberry chutney. ­

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“We loved the idea of partnering with the zoo because they bring so much to our community. With a name like Polar Dip, hosting a fundraiser at our restaurant to benefit the resident polar bears seemed perfectly fitting,” said Polar Dip Owner Danielle Wynne.

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Cranbeary came to Alaska from the Denver Zoo at the end of 2018. While in Denver, a giant pickle was always her favorite toy, and it would entertain her for hours. As a way to enhance the Alaska Zoo polar bears’ habitat, on April 23 they were surprised with this new version of Cranbeary’s favorite toy.

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The 40-inch-long, foot-wide pickle was waiting for the furry friends before the bears were released to their habitat in the morning. This surprise would not have been possible without a month-long partnership with Polar Dip. Half of the proceeds from the Cranbeary Special went into a fund to help pay for the giant pickle toy.

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“This five-pound pickle is something we know will provide the bears endless. We’re thankful to our friends at Polar Dip and everyone in the Anchorage community who supported the Alaska Zoo by enjoying a Cranbeary Special and contributing to this fundraiser” said Pat Lampi, executive director of the Alaska Zoo.

More photos by John Gomes here


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  1. Seems the gorgeous Alaska-Zoo polar bears and I have something in common at the moment.
    As also I love to have cucumbers at the moment but certainly not those XXL-size-ones but rather small ones with lots of fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice, sugar, salt, mustard, and joghurt!

    Great toy for the polars. Thank you very much for having presented tha ‘happy trio’ to your ‘KWM’-public, Dear MERVI. Greetings to the Alaska Zoo. Complements for their generous animal-gift-politics! 🙂

  2. Dear Mervi and John!
    To see polar bears playing with a giant cuke caused a good laugh and was an amusing start of the day.
    Thank you for these hilarious pics!
    The cucumber looks quite realistic and I hope the bears won´t swallow pieces of it!
    Have a nice weekend!


  3. Liebe Mervi, lieber John,

    na das ist ja mal ein klasse und originelles Spielzeug. Eine überdemensionale Gurke.
    Eine super Idee. So etwas habe ich bisher noch bei keinem anderen Eisbären gesehen.

    Das Album enthält. viele einzigartige schöne Bilder. Vielen Dank dafür.

    Liebe Grüße

  4. Dear John,

    Thank you so much for the funny and lovely photos of Cranbeary and Lyituik with their new toy! No doubt it was very much appreciated!

    The Alaska Zoo always finds new ways to raise money. I think this kind of ‘partnerships’ would be a good idea even for other zoos to finance the enrichment for the animals.

    My best greetings even to Pat Lampi and everybody working in the Alaska Zoo!

    Hugs from Mervi

  5. Dear John and Mervi!
    The giant pickle is an interesting toy. The bears like it.