ZOO AND YOU: Black bear still asleep in Topeka, despite warm weather

FOX 43 News Zoo and You

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Northeast Kansas is experiencing warmer temperatures, but one black bear in Topeka is not ready to leave winter behind.

A black bear named Val at the Topeka Zoo dug a hole and laid down for a torpor back in November , which is a type of hibernation.

The Topeka Zoo is asking local schools to guess when the black bear Val will wake up for spring. The contest is called Val Watch. The zoo has received around 250 guesses from nearly 40 area schools.

Animal Care Supervisor Shanna Simpson said Val typically wakes up in mid-March, but the weather could change that.

“It is weather dependant,” Simpson said. “If our winter is kind of tapering off and we start to have more consistently warm weather days she’s going to come out.”

The class that guesses the closest will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the black bear exhibit. They will also get a painting made by one of the bears and get to watch a live stream while it’s being made.

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