September 8, 2008 in City

Green bears puzzle zoo visitors

Associated Press
 

TOKYO – Green polar bears are drawing questions from puzzled visitors at a Japanese zoo.

Three normally white polar bears at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan changed color in July after swimming in a pond with an overgrowth of algae.

The sight of green polar bears has prompted many questions from visitors concerned about the animals, zoo official Masami Kurobe said Sunday.

High temperatures in July and August and less-frequent water changes because of the zoo’s conservation efforts caused an algae growth in the bear pond and safety moat, Kurobe said.

The bears are expected to return to their natural color when the algae growth subsides in November, Kurobe said.

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