ZOO AND YOU: Topeka Zoo asking schools to guess when black bear will wake up for spring

FOX 43 News Zoo and You

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo is asking local schools to guess when a black bear will wake up for spring. The contest is called Val Watch and starts today on Groundhog Day.

The Topeka Zoo is home to two black bears: Indie and Val. In November, Val dug a hole and laid down for a torpor, which is a type of hibernation.

Animal Care Supervisor Shanna Simpson said Val will occasionally get up to stretch or snack, but she’s never up for long. The zoo is asking classes in local schools to guess when Val will wake up for the whole day.

“Typically she wakes up around mid-March,” Simpson said. “But it’s really difficult and challenging to guess the day, so we thought it would be fun for schools to get involved. We’re going to set up a trail camera so we can catch glimpses of Val and see what she’s doing.”

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

The Topeka Zoo will start accepting applications on Tuesday. Click here to enter and for more information.

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