Our two Alaskan brown bears, Kiak and Mi-kal, are the largest members of our forest biome. Kiak and Mi-kal both joined our Zoo family after they were found as orphaned cubs. Over the years, these two have become inseparable and can often be seen chasing each other and playing together. While bears are mostly known for their size and strength, they serve a crucial role in their environment. Being apex predators, their primary ecological purpose is keeping populations of their prey in check. By eating species like deer and moose, they help prevent overgrazing in forests which allows young tree saplings to grow. Being omnivores, they also eat nuts, berries and fruit which helps spread new seeds all over their territory.
While brown bear populations are typically healthy and productive, conflicts with humans and habitat destruction are serious concerns. Bears have an excellent memory and often return to places where they have found food in the past. This means popular campsites, hiking trails and tourist attractions can be prime locations for bears to find a snack. Kiak and Mi-kal are ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild, teaching guests everyday about the importance of animal conservation. Through the Animal Amigo program, you support the care of our bears here at the Zoo and support the Indianapolis Zoo’s brown bear conservation efforts globally.
For a donation of $50 or more, you’ll receive an Animal Amigo package, which includes one elephant plush, photo, certificate, trading card and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board.*
*Animal Amigo donor board is located inside the Oceans building and updated each March with the previous year’s donors.
Animal Amigo donations make great gifts! You can purchase one as an individual or as a group. However, please note that only one of each item will be enclosed per Animal Amigos packet.