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Happy Birthday to Polar Bear Snow Lilly

Polar bear Snow Lilly

Posted December 2020

Polar bear Snow Lilly has been a favorite animal of visitors and staff since arriving here in 2005 from the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Polar bear Snow LillySnow Lilly recently marked her 36th birthday December 5 making her the oldest polar bear living in human care in North America! On her special day, she received different enrichment items including two “Birthday Cakes,” one made from rainbow Jell-O filled with shrimp, and the other, a frozen fish cake with trail mix.

All animals at the Zoo participate in an enrichment program which helps encourage natural behaviors and adds to their physical and mental wellbeing.

During a trip to the Zoo, visitors may see Lilly (all 547 pounds!) playing with extremely durable enrichment toys in her habitat.

Polar bear Snow LillyFun Fact: Snow Lilly’s daily diet includes: 6-7 pounds of ground meat, 1 pound of lard, 2-3 pounds of fish, various produce items and 3 gallons of polar bear pellets (commercial-grade dry food for polar bears).

Her keepers comment that she enjoys swimming in her pool in the summer when the temperatures are warm, but in the winter, she prefers to spend time walking and laying on the “land” portion of her habitat. In the wild, polar bears are generally solitary animals, so Snow Lilly prefers to have the exhibit to herself. She is the only bear at the Zoo that doesn’t go into hibernation.

In the wild, polar bears are facing drastic changes in their environment due to warming temperatures and shrinking Arctic sea ice. An appropriate wish this holiday season is for ice and many polar bear cubs to be born!

For more on what we can all do to help save polar bears in their wild habitats, visit Polar Bears International at polarbearsinternational.org.

Happy Birthday, Snow Lilly!