Alaska Zoo – Black Bears Together at Last!

Aug 29th, 2020 | By | Category: Featured articles

29.8.2020 – Source: Press release from the Alaska Zoo, Video by John Gomes

On the 21st of August the new zoo resident Honey met the long-time resident Zayk.

The Alaska Zoo’s animal team has successfully introduced black bears Zayk and Honey to each other and zoo photographer John Gomes was there to capture their first interaction with each other. The zoo takes many precautions when introducing larger animals including relying on decades of experience in reading animal behavior and past successful introductions.

While Zayk lived most of his zoo life with Mavis who passed away, Honey has never lived with another bear in human managed care. She is unsure of him in the video, but the two of them will grow used to each other with time.


Alaska zoo has provided homes and care for Alaska’s orphaned and injured wildlife for more than 50 years and is pleased to announce that Honey and Zayk have been placed in the cub facility with each other, under close observation.


Early yesterday before the zoo opened the two bears were given access to each other. We always like to be sure that an introduction goes smoothly, so early morning is best to help reduce any other potential stressors. Things went well and they are getting used to being together.

It is important to note that Honey has not been around other bears before and Zayk has been solo for a couple of years since Mavis passed away. Initially they have been hesitant to interact but will become more and more comfortable with time.


Zoo Curator Shannon Jensen recalls when Zayk and Mavis first met back in 1999. She said they played non-stop for 24 hours straight! While Honey is a little more cautious, we expect many play days ahead for these two. We hope you will come to see them at the zoo soon! We will move them together back to the main black bear habitat soon.

“Core pillars of our mission are education and conservation. Honey and Zayk are ambassador for their species, teaching people how to make better decisions when it comes to wildlife in Alaska. Whether it is trash management, or throwing an apple core from a car window, our actions have consequences. Honey, Zayk, and all of the animals at the Alaska Zoo are here to help us learn and be better protectors of wild places and wild habitat,” Pat Lampi.

About the Alaska Zoo

The Alaska Zoo is a nonprofit organization that has provided a home for orphaned, injured and captive-born animals for 51 years. Open year-round, the zoo is dedicated to promoting conservation of Arctic and sub-Arctic species through education, research,and community enrichment.

Additional information on admission rates, annual memberships, history, animals and more is available here.

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  1. Thank you for posting this fascinating article about black bears in Alaska Zoo.
    Apart from the ones in Tierpark Berlin I have not seen these lovely bears.
    I hope that Zayk and Honey will become friends

  2. Dear Mervi and John!
    What a thrilling story!
    I hope that in the meantime everything is fine between these two black beauties and they will become good friends after a while.
    I will keep my fingers crossed!
    It is wonderful there are places like the Alaska Zoo!
    Thank you for sharing.


  3. Dear Mervi

    Every beginning is difficult.
    This beginning between the two of them gives me hope that they will soon understand each other perfectly.
    I thank you for this interesting contribution


  4. Liebe Mervi und lieber John,
    das wird gut werden und sie sind dann beide nicht mehr alleine!
    Vielen Dank für diesen schönen und interessanten Beitrag vom Alaska Zoo.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

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