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Alaska Beat

AK Beat: Luna, polar bear at Buffalo zoo, suffers fall

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 2, 2014

Buffalo polar bear injured in fall: A polar bear at the Buffalo Zoo was being monitored after a fall into the moat surrounding her habitat at the zoo, reports TV station WGRZ. Luna, who was born at the zoo, slipped and fell about 14 feet on Saturday, the station reported, after which zoo staff tranquilized and x-rayed her, to determine the extent of her injuries. She seems to be doing well, staff told WGRZ. Luna made headlines in Alaska last year when she was part of a study that also included Kali, an orphaned Alaska polar bear who eventually moved to the Buffalo Zoo.

Meet the first Alaskan at the Bolshoi: Her name is Maire New and according to the New York Times, the 17-year-old from Juneau is the first Alaskan ever to study at Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Ballet academy. New, who is home-schooled, has received support (via GoFundMe) from Juneau for her studies, and she returns to the Southeast Alaska city in summers (click through for a classic Alaska photo of New dancing in Xtratufs at a Southeast beach during low tide), though the distance can be difficult: "I'm literally halfway around the world," she told the Times. "I wish there was a direct flight." A vice president at the Russian American, who helped New with a scholarship, told the Times that New's Alaska roots helped her stand out, but her talent secured her an invitation to return after an initial six-week stint. New told the Times she's acutely aware of the tensions between Russia and the west, but they only reinforce her ambition to continue her studies: "She mentions a famous photo of the Bolshoi performing during World War II: 'It sort of goes to show: There are horrible things happening in the world, but when it comes to art and ballet, we're here to make the world a better place. It honestly gives us more of a reason to keep dancing.'"

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