By Colour Sergeant Carin Dodsley, Army Public Affairs
Winnipeg, Manitoba – It has been a full year since Honorary Corporal Juno, the Canadian Army’s adopted polar bear and live mascot, arrived at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba to participate in Operation SOCIALIZATION.
Over the course of this operation, HCpl Juno has experienced training opportunities and social interactions required for development from a cub (or Private) to a young adult polar bear (now a Corporal).
At two years and four months old, HCpl Juno is showing her warrior spirit by remaining brave, strong and resilient during this phase of her development.
Qualifications, rations and quarters
In early March 2017, HCpl Juno deployed from her birthplace at the Toronto Zoo to Winnipeg to socialize with other polar bears in her age group, or in Army-speak, to earn her trade qualifications.
Her quarters at the Assiniboine Park Zoo are located at the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre, a transition and research facility for young polar bears.
HCpl Juno’s “rations” consist of a variety of fish, specially developed polar bear “chow”, and a meat product specialized for polar bears, which contains proteins and nutrients needed for polar bear growth.
Schedule and Training
According to Allison Ginsburg, the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Curator of Animal Care – Large Carnivores, HCpl Juno has a very full and active schedule.
“The polar bears are always fed multiple times…