Debby the polar bear continues to inspire many of us, even after her death in late 2008 at the age of 42. While she continues to be missed, her memory lives on in books and sculptures and pictures and stories. Debby and her partner Skipper were such an integral part of the Assiniboine Park Zoo for more than four decades that it’s not surprising but it is heart warming.
Here at the zoo we are working hard to continue Debby’s legacy by launching the Polar Bear Conservation Fund. Several thousand dollars has already been raised even before our big fund raising kickoff in March. We hope you can join the Zoological Society of Manitoba on Sunday, March 22 for our first ever Polar Run. We’re hoping to raise tens of thousands of dollars over the coming months and years to allow us to build a state of the art polar bear conservation centre here at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. The zoo is poised to be the world leader in polar conservation and education but this campaign is a grassroots campaign and we need your help to make it possible. If you would like to donate, in memory of Debby, please visit www.zoosociety.com.
And please keep your stories and pictures and tributes to Debby coming! At Portage Ave and Main St, just in front of the TD Tower, I got to see a huge new snow sculpture depicting Debby, that was just completed yesterday for Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur celebration. Over the Christmas holidays Debby was the inspiration for many home snow sculptures, including the photo below. Plus, the Zoo Gift Shop and other local Winnipeg bookstores will soon be selling a book highlighting Debby’s life, written by local author, comedian and celebrity, Jon Ljungberg.