Qannik, which means "snowflake" in Inupiat, was discovered in an oil field in Alaska’s North Slope in April 2011. The 5-month-old polar bear had been abandoned, and at 15 pounds, was horribly underweight. She was taken to the Alaska Zoo and cared for around the clock, and today weighs in at more than 60 pounds. Once Qannik was healthy, she was transported to the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, where she lives in the newly opened Glacier Run polar bear habitat.
Zoo Director John Walczak said he wants the cub (also shown in the video below) to help share a message about how climate change is devastating the polar bear population. “Her ambassadorship is for her species and for one of the most important environmental issues facing our planet,” he said.