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May 17, 2024

Salisbury, Md. - One of the Salisbury Zoo's Andean bears, Inti, will move to the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin this month.

The Andean Bear Species Survival Plan, or SSP, recommended that Inti go to the Racine Zoo. The SSP works closely with Andean Bear SAFE, or Saving Animals From Extinction, of which the Salisbury Zoo is a program partner, and Registrar Jessica Mandelson is secretary.

Inti is now off exhibit, and he received a physical exam before Mandelson and Animal Care Supervisor Adrienne Liszkiewicz drive him to Racine next week. They will stay in touch with Inti's new keepers.

Chaska, the Salisbury Zoo's female Andean bear, gave birth to Inti and Raymi on Jan. 16, 2022. Last year, she let the animal care staff know through her behavior when it was time to separate from the cubs. In the wild, a mother Andean bear will separate from her cubs.

Mandelson said Inti and Raymi had stayed together at the Salisbury Zoo, but they would not have remained in the wild. Andean bears are solitary by nature.

"It is always hard to see one of your favorite animals leave, but for Inti, it is an exciting new beginning," Mandelson said. "I always knew this day would come. It marks the Salisbury Zoo's success in breeding Andean bears and contributing to conserving this unique bear species."

There is a chance Raymi could be more vocal without Inti with him in the exhibit, though he did well with the separation from Chaska, Mandelson said. There are plans for Raymi to leave the Salisbury Zoo in September.