Phoenix Zoo discovers 2-year-old bear is female, not male

PHOENIX (AP) – The Phoenix Zoo is fessing up to what it calls an “embearassing” mistake regarding one of its animals.

Zoo officials say they were planning to transfer Luka to the Nashville, Tennessee, zoo when they recently discovered that the 2-year-old Andean bear is a female, not a male as thought.

According to the Phoenix Zoo, Andean bear cubs’ genitalia are highly undeveloped before age 2, making it very difficult to determine gender.

The zoo said employees there also hadn’t handled the bear much because it was doing very well with its mother.

The zoo said Luka still might go to Nashville, but now that they know she’s a she, it opens up other options for the bear’s participation in a breeding program.