Get excited, Tucson. Reid Park Zoo is getting another new animal soon. 

In addition to the new squirrel monkey exhibit slated to open this spring, the zoo is also welcoming an Andean bear named Oja. 

Oja, who will be five years old in a few weeks, was born at the Zurich Zoo. According to a press release from the zoo, Oja is inquisitive, bold and has a love for peanuts, raisins and strawberries.

"Oja is an easy going and incredibly smart bear," Reid Park Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Alexis Moreno said in the press release. "She has adjusted really well and is enjoying the enrichment the Animal Care Team has provided for her behind the scenes in the Animal Health Center." 

But if you're excited to meet Oja, you'll have to wait a few more weeks, as she adapts to her new home and bonds with the animal care team. She should be in her habitat and ready for the public in March.

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Oja joins Reid Park Zoo's male Andean bear, Worf. The two haven't yet met but will meet soon after she completes her health screening. 

"Since Oja was born in Switzerland, her genes are not well represented in the United States," the press release says. "This ultimately will help with conservation of the species in human care."

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.