Nikita improving, but needs additional treatment - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Nikita improving, but needs additional treatment

Nikita earlier this year via Kansas City Zoo Nikita earlier this year via Kansas City Zoo

Nikita's intestinal issues continue to keep him away from Polar Passage, but the director of the Kansas City Zoo said the polar bear is improving.

The 6-year-old Nikita first displayed signs Sunday afternoon that he wasn't feeling himself and had an upset tummy. He was taken on Monday to his behind-the-scenes bedroom for treatment for what the zoo called an intestinal upset. He has been off public display since then.

"Nikita continues to be treated and is receiving additional therapy by our professional staff in his behind-the-scenes bedroom," Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said in a statement.

This comes as Kansas City blogger Tony Botello said on his website overnight that Nikita is seriously ill.

Wisthoff said Nikita is doing better.

"He is improving, but like all of you - his polar-rrific fans - we want him in Polar Bear Passage pouncing and swimming. We are also consulting with our colleagues and peers to help determine the best path for Nikita to be back to his playful self," Wisthoff said.

He updated fans Friday with the following Facebook post:

"We have received many comments from viewers of the KCTV5 Nikita Cam concerning Berlin the polar bear limping. In Mid-April she was being treated with pain medication for this limp. Berlin is back on the pain medication and is being closely monitored by our world-class veterinary team. At age 23, Berlin is still very spry but with age comes a few reoccurring aches and pains. Thank you polar bear fans for your concern. Rest assured she being closely watched and cared for by a great team."

A spokesperson for the zoo said the staff is working their way down the list of likelihoods and options for treatment. Friday, the next step was to perform an ultrasound that ruled out any obstruction or impaction.

The 23-year-old Berlin, who came to the zoo last year after her home in Minnesota was flooded, for the time being has Polar Bear Passage to herself.

Without Nikita churning up the waters, the water-averse bear has gone for meandering swims. On Tuesday, she swam for almost an hour, which is virtually unheard of for her. On Tuesday, she even swam over and checked out the rock where Nikita loves to push off from while swimming and spent time in parts of the pool she normally avoids. 

Typically as dusk approaches, she goes back inside while Nikita sleeps outdoors in his sandy pit. But Tuesday, she lingered more outside later in the evening. She also has shown signs of looking to see where her mate is.

The two bears mated this spring and the hope is Berlin will have cubs this winter.

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