Yupik, who wasn’t actually born in captivity — she was born in the wild in Alaska — spent the first year of her life with her mother and brother. But in 1992, Yupik’s mother was shot and killed.
“The reports are that her mother was shot, but I’m not sure under what circumstances, whether it was hunting or as a ‘nuisance bear,’” Woodyer said.
Shortly after their mom’s death, Yupik and her brother were temporarily moved to the Alaska Zoo. Unfortunately, Yupik’s brother died at that zoo from a freak accident, leaving Yupik alone. Yupik was transferred to Morelia Zoo in Mexico, where she’s been living ever since.