Nikita to return to Polar Bear Passage - WNEM TV 5

Nikita returns to Polar Bear Passage

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It's going to be a gorgeous weekend to visit the zoo and many of you will be happy to know that Nikita the polar bear is back in his exhibit at Polar Bear Passage.

Allow him to reintroduce himself. His name is Nikita. Along with Berlin, they're two of the biggest stars at the Kansas City Zoo.

Nikita had been down for the count, sick and out of commission for over a week.

"Assessing what is ailing a 1,000-pound polar bear is not a simple task. It is a process of elimination and a collaboration of many. The Zoo's veterinary team and Zoo Keeper team provided Nikita his VIP TLC throughout his treatment," the zoo said in a statement.

Nikita is now eating, drinking and back to his 1,000-pound polar bear self after he was being treated for gastrointestinal discomfort.

"We tranquilized him, we had to get some blood off of him and, at that time, we identified that he was a little dehydrated so we put about two gallons of fluid into him and that, and the antibiotics, kind of brought him back, a little slowly, but he rebounded and he's his old Nikita self again today," Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said.

And that's good news for Nikita and all of the people who showed up to see him starting at 9 a.m. Friday.

"He's pretty cool. He was playing with a bucket. He was rolling around with one of the barrels, splashing and stuff," Evan Lohman said.

"We came out, as a family, because we heard Nikita was all better, so we wanted to come and visit," Jessica Brooks said.

Everyone said they were happy to see the giant ball of fur, claws and teeth back to his old tricks and Wisthoff said many kids had even offered their own remedies to cure him.

"Anything from chicken soup to 7-Up, to one young person thought maybe if we took him back up to the North Pole for a couple of weeks and let him relax in the snow, that'd make him all better," he said.

The question now is if Berlin will allow her male counterpart back in - she has had the entire area to herself for over a week.

The Kansas City Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Call 816-513-5800, or visit our web site for more information.

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