Kulu the polar bear, who has gained a following after being born on Thanksgiving Day 2019 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, is the newest addition to the Como Zoo and comes with a new tacking device from the “Burr on Fur” program to better track polar bears.
Kulu has just one of several tracking tag prototypes called the “tri-brush attachment.”
The device sticks to the polar bear’s fur, providing a minimally invasive way of tracking polar bears in the wild, according to a statement from the Como Zoo. The prototype was developed through a partnership between Polar Bears International and 3M scientists, including White Bear, Minnesota resident Jon Kirschhoffer.
Scientists have used satellite collars to follow polar bears and their movements, but they have only been able to place them on adult females, according to a statement by Geoff York, senior director of conservation at Polar Bears International.
“The devices designed by 3M represent a major potential step forward — they could be used on all classes of polar bears and would allow us to obtain critical data with the least impact possible,” York said in a statement.
Kulu, which is an Inuktitut term of endearment, is in the deep-water exhibit of the Polar Bear Odyssey habitat at the zoo and will be physically separated from the other polar bears until Kulu’s mandatory quarantine period is complete.