ROYAL OAK, Mich., May 4, 2012 – The Detroit Zoo has something "beary" special planned for Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 2012, in celebration of Bear Awareness Week.  The Zoo will host free activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the award-winning Arctic Ring of Life and the bear dens to increase awareness of energy conservation and the effect it has on the survival of bears in the wild.

The day's activities will include bear enrichment and zookeeper talks at the various bear habitats at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day.  Guests can make "green pledges" to conserve energy and hang them on a giving tree, and kids can decorate light switch covers with green messages to take home as a reminder to conserve energy.

"The hope is that our million-plus visitors each year leave here with a greater understanding of the issues facing bears and other wildlife and the realization that everyone can do something to conserve energy and help save the animals' habitats," said Scott Carter, Chief Life Sciences Officer for the Detroit Zoological Society.

The Detroit Zoo is home to 11 bears of four species, including five grizzly bears, four polar bears, a black bear and a brown bear.  The most recent arrivals are Mike, Thor and Boo, 16-month-old grizzly cubs that were rescued from Alaska and brought to the Zoo in December 2011 after their mother was shot and killed.  The brothers joined two other rescued grizzly bears – 28-year-old female Kintla and 27-year-old male Lakota – both of which arrived at the Zoo as 2-year-olds.

Female polar bear Bärle, 28, was famously confiscated from a Mexican circus in Puerto Rico in 2002 and adopted by the Detroit Zoo.  Two years later she became a first-time mother to female Talini, now 7 years old.  Nuka, a 7-year-old male, arrived at the Zoo in 2011 as a potential mate for Talini.  Another male, 19-year-old Aquila, arrived in 2011 for a two-year stay at the Arctic Ring of Life while his habitat at the North Carolina Zoo is being renovated.

Migwan, a 10-year-old female black bear that arrived at the Detroit Zoo in October 2002, was found as a cub near Gladwin, Mich., with porcupine quills in her face.  Polly, a 15-year-old female brown bear, was used in a travelling circus and donated to the Zoo in 2000.