Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 20, 2013

CITY DESK: Buffalo bears, oh my!

Niagara Gazette — It’s bad enough those “secretive” Buffalo interests are always trying to co-op our city and our good name with all their grant money and what not. 

Now it appears the evil infiltrators are attempting to rub it in the collective face of Niagara Falls through more diabolical means: Polar bears.

Last week, the Buffalo Zoo wel-comed its second polar bear cub, an orphan named Kali who arrived from Alaska via UPS flight. The 65-pound ball of white fur is now being paired with the zoo’s other celebrity cub, Luna, a female who, since her arrival in November, has grown into the zoo’s No. 1 attraction and a Western New York media darling. 

Once again, this puts Buffalo at a distinct advantage. 

If it isn’t obvious already, these are not your ordinary, average bears.

Although they will one day grow to be man eaters, in their current state, little Kali and Luna are practically the embodiment of “adorable.” 

Try it in your house sometime. Flip on the television news, wait for the obligatory video of one of the cubs in play and watch as family members scurry to get their daily glimpse, er, fix. 

Everyone will be glued to the set, “oohing” and “aahing” as they say things like “how cute.” 

Baby polar bears. Why didn’t we think of this before? 

Those two cubs are more than unique zoo guests, they are bonafide money makers, surefire cash cows, fundraisers in a class all their own. 

Luna’s been packing them in at the zoo since her arrival, helping draw in the type of big dollars needed to build a proposed new entrance and Arctic exhibit that is expected to cost $18 million. 

By last count, the zoo, thanks in part to Luna, has raised roughly $15 million of the needed funds.

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