Rochester, N.Y. - Its a no-go this time. Seneca Park Zoo officials announced Wednesday morning that Aurora, the zoo’s female polar bear, is not pregnant.
The Zoo says it made history last year when it teamed up with Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) for the world’s first artificial insemination of a polar bear.
During the procedure, sperm from Zero, the Zoo’s male polar bear, was used. Unfortunately, this medical first did not result in a pregnancy for Aurora.
According to the County Zoo Director, Larry Sorel, "It all went smoothly and her fecal hormone levels indicated a pregnancy. Although, we still do not know enough about polar bear reproductive physiology to know if she was truly pregnant or if it was a pseudo pregnancy
So what's next for Aurora? Sorel says, "due to Aurora's advancing age (23), the best path forward is to again induce ovulation through low-risk injections but allow the opportunity for natural breeding. The injections will be administered in the next few weeks."
The bears were separated during the denning season - the bears are now back together.