SALISBURY, Md. - After thousands of miles by air and ground, and a year of planning, Salisbury Zoo finally is adding to its family of residents.
Pinocchio, the Andean Bear from Ecuador is settling into his new home. And the little bear already has a big fan club as folks from all across Delmarva have been following Pinocchio's journey for months, such as Mark and Patricia Critzman from Crisfield.
"Reading it in the paper and watching it on tv, it was just really, really interesting that we were actually able to see him blow by," said Mark.
"Can't wait until he makes his debut into the zoo, and we can welcome Pinocchio formally," added Patricia.
Pinocchio will be joining a four-year-old female, Chaska, with the hope the two can be the pillar of the next generation of Andean Bears.
"Andean Bears are the only species of bear that live in South America. So they're very unique. They're also listed as vulnerable... So we're hoping he can really be a founding stock for a portion of the Andean Bear population," said Zoo Director Ralph Piland.
But the Salisbury Zoo's work with Andean Bears doesn't end with Pinocchio and Chaska.
"We're working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, their species survival plan to help be a participant in creating a self sustaining population, captive population of Andean Bears," said Piland. "And we want to be an ongoing part of their conservation efforts so that we can better tell the whole Andean Bear story, as well as Pinocchio and Chaska's story."
Pinnochio will be quarantined for thirty days as he gets used to his new surroundings.
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