Date of birth: November 30, 2009
Place of birth: Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien, Quebec
Arrival at the Habitat: June 2012
Ganuk, the eldest son of Inukshuk, was born at Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien with his twin sister Taiga in 2009. Ganuk arrived at the Habitat in 2012 after having been separated from his mother and sister in 2011.
In 2016, Ganuk and Henry were introduced, and their relationship has developed well since. Ganuk's docile and patient demeanour is a perfect accompaniment to Henry's ever-active personality. The time he spends with Henry encourages him to be more active – something he isn’t always motivated to do on his own.
As Ganuk is the longest resident at the Habitat, he is also the most familiar with the procedures involved in his care, and he has been known to use his knowledge to his advantage.
Ganuk responds well to voluntary training and is often the first of the bears to learn a new behaviour or participate in a new aspect of medical care. He was the first to voluntarily give blood, the first to participate in ultrasound exams, and remains the only bear to roll over in the training crate.
Ganuk may be the largest bear but he is by far the most particular when it comes to his diet. He happily eats seal meat and moose meat, but he avoids highly nutritious seal blubber and the less meaty parts of the fish. Animal care staff discovered the perfect way to ensure he eats a proper diet - all of the fish heads, tails and seal oil are ground together into a mash and then fed to him using a spoon. A method which he and the animal care staff love!
Ganuk tends to lumber along at his own pace, and he avoids being outside when it’s raining.
While his weight fluctuates seasonally, Ganuk is usually our heaviest bear at between 1,000 and 1,100lbs (450 to 500kg). He is affectionally - and aptly - known as our gentle giant.
Date of birth: May 9, 2013
Place of birth: Sea World Gold Coast, Australia
Arrival at the Habitat: October 2015
At the time of his birth, Henry was the first polar bear born in Australia in 30 years.
He stayed with his mother until he was two, at which point she started showing signs of wanting to separate from him, as would happen in the wild.
Henry moved from his birthplace in October of 2015, but he still has a dedicated Aussie following. After a long, three day journey across the world, from the Southern hemisphere to the Northern hemisphere, Henry finally arrived in his new home of Cochrane, Ontario.
He faced a lot of changes in his new home but one thing he took an instant liking to, was snow! It took him a bit longer to warm up to moose meat, seal meat, and seal oil, although now seal oil is among his favourite things.
His introduction to Ganuk in 2016 represented a turning point for Henry, as he seemed to finally settle in at the Habitat. His progress continued after his introduction to Inukshuk in 2018.
Henry is the most active and enjoys spending his time with the other bears or his enrichments. He prefers to enter the pool bottom first, breaking the ice which forms in the pools and lake, and is known to hoard all of the toys to himself!
Henry is sexually mature, weighing a healthy 920lbs (418kg), and is now considered to be an adult. Even so, he will likely continue to grow for a few more years. His highest weight to date was just over 1,200lbs (545kg).
Date of birth: Winter of 2002/2003
Place of birth: In the wild near Fort Severn, Ontario
Arrival at the Habitat: 2016 full-time
Inukshuk was orphaned in early 2003 near Fort Severn, ON, when he was about three months old.
He was rescued by the local police force and kept overnight at the police station, then was moved to the Toronto Zoo. Young polar bears need to spend at least two years with their mothers, to learn how to survive in the Arctic, so at such a young age he had no chance of survival.
Since 2012, Inukshuk has spent most of his time living at the Habitat, returning to the Toronto Zoo occasionally on their request. He has now been at the Habitat permanently since 2016.
In other facilities, he has fathered five cubs: Ganuk, Taiga, Hudson, Humphrey, and Juno.
When animal care staff at the Habitat first met Inukshuk, he appeared to be very nervous and lacking in trust of new people. However, with lots of time and patience given by the animal care staff, they were able to connect with him and better understand his needs. Now, he is the most likely to spend time in the company of people, and he is comfortable enough that he often falls asleep with the animal care staff after feeding.
He is the bear most likely to nap in a pool – or anywhere, for that matter. Inukshuk tends to dig himself daybeds in the snow, grass, dirt, or other substrate in his environment. He also has a unique napping position, with his front legs back and his rear end in the air, although Ganuk is now starting to learn this technique as well.
When Inukshuk was introduced to Henry and Ganuk in 2018, it was the first time he had direct contact with other male bears. It quickly became clear that he would be the one to set the rules, which Henry sometimes forgets. The time Inukshuk has spent with Henry has been positive for his muscle development and has enhanced his ability to communicate with other bears.
Inukshuk seems the most excited by food, and seal blubber is his favourite.
After four years of training, Inukshuk voluntarily gave blood for the first time in 2020. He was the last of the bears to do so.
Inukshuk usually weighs around 1,000lbs (450kg) and is the polar bear at the Habitat who is most like the characteristic full-grown male.