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Phoenix Zoo: Oops, That 'Male' Bear Is Not a Male

Follows up gender mix-up with terrible pun. Insult, meet injury
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 20, 2015 1:56 PM CDT
Phoenix Zoo: Oops, That 'Male' Bear Is Not a Male
An Andean bear in Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/dpa, Arne Dedert)

(Newser) – The Phoenix Zoo is fessing up to a mistake of a very fundamental nature regarding one of its animals. Zoo officials say they were planning to transfer Luka to the zoo in Nashville when they discovered that the 2-year-old Andean bear is a female, not a male as thought. According to the Phoenix Zoo, Andean bear cubs' genitalia are generally undeveloped before age 2, making it difficult to determine gender.

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The zoo said employees there also hadn't handled the bear much because it was doing well with its mother. The zoo said Luka still might go to Nashville, but now that they know the animal is a female, it opens up other options for the bear's participation in a breeding program. (Read more bear stories.)

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