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Polar bear mystery: solved

December 9, 2008 |  9:29 am

Tsuyoshi, a four-year-old It started out as a simple bear-meets-bear story: Japan's Kushiro Zoo acquired a polar bear cub named Tsuyoshi, who they hoped would someday make a suitable partner for their adult female polar bear, Kurumi. 

Several years passed while zookeepers waited for Tsuyoshi to reach breeding age.  And then?  Nothing.  CNN reports:

...much to the disappointment of zookeepers, Tsuyoshi never made any amorous advances toward Kurumi.

Earlier this month, zookeepers put Tsuyoshi under anesthesia to get to the bottom of the matter. That's when they made their discovery: Tsuyoshi is a female.

The Kushiro Zoo says it will keep Tsuyoshi, who has become a favorite of zoogoers. 

And even though romance didn't blossom between Tsuyoshi and Kurumi, the animal kingdom certainly has its fair share of same-sex partners -- as evidenced by an exhibit called "Against Nature?" at Oslo's Natural History Museum, which famously showed 51 species of animals exhibiting homosexual behavior.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Tsuyoshi in March 2008.  Credit: Kyodo News / Associated Press

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