Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Special Salmon for Polar Bear Party

The Alaska Zoo in Anchorage is throwing a polar bear birthday party on Saturday, Jan. 19, with polar bear refreshments courtesy of Copper River Seafoods.

“Anchorage is our community,” says Copper River Seafoods General Manager Billy Green, who is overseeing construction of a large seafood ice cake for 1,100-pound Lyutyic, who was born at the Leningrad Zoo in St. Petersburg, Russia, and 800-pound Cranbeary, who was born at the Denver Zoo in Colorado last Thanksgiving.

The partnership between Copper River Seafoods and the Alaska Zoo goes back several years, a relationship that zoo Executive Director Patrick Lampi says has worked out very compatibly. “When it is in the 70s or higher in summer, Copper River Seafoods provides fish totes full of ice for the polar bears to play in,” he said.

The zoo also keeps chest freezer outside its gate for people to drop off fish to feed polar, black and brown bears, otters, wolves and bald eagles. “We almost never have a shortage,” Lampi said.

But this year Copper River Seafoods is taking it to a new level, freezing orange colored blocks of ice to resemble an Alaska rockfish sculpture. The 14 feet long by five feet tall cake will be made up of 48 ice blocks each filled with wild Alaska salmon, halibut, herring and some produce treats.

“We’re trying to broaden our relationship with the zoo,” said Green, who grew up in Anchorage visiting Binky, the zoo’s most famous polar bear, and has continued the tradition by bringing his children to the zoological park. “It brings happiness to the city, puts smiles on faces,” noted Green to explain the seafood company’s expanding partnership with the zoo.

The two-hour party starts at 11 a.m.

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