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    Posted March 28, 2012 by
    Kansas City, Missouri

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    Polar Bear Swimming Laps Looks Like Olympic Athlete in Training


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     HeleneSJ says while visitng the Kansas City Zoo she was attracted to the commotion at the polar bear habitat, where a five year old bear was swimming laps and doing underwater flips. " It was truly an odd and awe inspiring thing to wittiness," she says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    While visiting the Kansas City, Missouri Zoo during Spring Break, we couldn’t help but be attracted to all the commotion at the Polar Bear habitat. A huge male polar bear, the only inhabiter of the exhibit, was repeatedly swimming laps. His moves were reminiscent of an Olympic athlete in training as he skillfully flip turned, and then kicked off the glass wall. For more than 10 minutes we were thrilled by the site of this extremely large animal only inches away from us. We were able to study his back paws as they pressed up against the glass. It was truly an odd and awe inspiring thing to wittiness.
    Once I returned home, I did some researching to see if there was any information about the bear and his almost human-like behavior. It appears he is around five years old—too young to mate—and his isolation is not unlike most male polar bears in the wild that live off by themselves until they are mature. Although some worry the repetitious behavior is “stereotypic,” like the pacing of a tiger in its cage.
    I have included a link to a story from the Columbia Missourian that gives more detailed information about Nakita the swimming polar bear, who is the subject of my video submission.

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