POLITICS

Hudson and Humphrey: Polar bear brothers to be united at Winnipeg zoo

02/04/2015 12:00 EST | Updated 04/06/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Two polar bear brothers who have never met are about to be united at a special conservation centre in Manitoba.

Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is preparing to welcome 15-month-old Humphrey from the Toronto Zoo in a few weeks.

Humphrey's older brother, Hudson, was also born at the Toronto facility. But he was moved to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre in Winnipeg, where he became the first resident of the world-class attraction for tourists and researchers.

Born at the Toronto Zoo in November 2013, Humphrey, like his brother, was the only surviving cub in a litter of three. He was closely monitored and cared for 24 hours a day in the early stages of his life.

The Toronto Zoo says Humphrey's moving in with his bro marks the next step in the young bear's behavioural development. Staff spent the last year helping him become independent and it's now time for him to socialize with other polar bears.

The two bruins share the same mother, Aurora, and father, Inukshuk.

“This is very exciting news for us here at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and we are thrilled to welcome Humphrey and have him join our other polar bears,” Dr. Brian Joseph, director of zoological operations, said in a release Wednesday.

“He’s just as lovable as his older brother Hudson and we can’t wait for the community to meet him.”

Hudson's celebrity power was immediately evident when he took his first public romp around his Winnipeg enclosure in February 2013.

Spectators pressed against a protective barrier began to murmur excitedly as his furry head with a charcoal nose, two button eyes and cupcake ears poked out of his den.

He cemented his star status by sliding down a small embankment on his big pigeon-toed paws.

Last May, a visiting Prince Charles played waiter to Hudson by using tongs to offer some fish to the beast.

Humphrey won't make his public debut or meet his brother right away. He is to share temporary digs with two other cubs and, in time, the three will be moved into the main exhibit to join Hudson and three other bears.