• Kyodo

  • SHARE

Two polar bears born at a municipal zoo in Sapporo and raised as male may be suffering from a gender crisis after officials revealed Wednesday that the bears have been found to be female.

The bears, 4-year-old Tsuyoshi (which literally means “strength”) and 2-year-old Pirika, which doesn’t really have a meaning in Japanese, turned out to be female during recent health checks, officials at Sapporo Maruyama Zoo said.

Both bears are now being raised at other zoos in Hokkaido; Tsuyoshi at Kushiro Municipal Zoo in Kushiro, and Pirika at Obihiro Zoo in Obihiro.

The Sapporo zoo’s misjudgment surfaced after a “marriage” was planned for Tsuyoshi, which started living as a “bridegroom” with its match mate, Kurumi, in June, a Kushiro zoo official said.

But Tsuyoshi “never showed interest” in the female bear, the official said.

Earlier this month, the zoo tested Tsuyoshi’s physical characteristics and found he was a she, the official said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)