In 1991, a two-year-old female grizzly joined grand patriarch Charlie in the grizzly bear exhibit at Zoo Idaho. Stripes had been born in captivity at a zoo in Columbus, Ohio. The two bears were companions for 18 years until Charlie’s passing in 2009. The death was hard on Stripes who began pacing her enclosure when the bears were finally separated. Fortunately, Stripes would not be alone for long.
In 2014, Zoo Idaho received two-year-old Shoni—a transplant from the Shoshone National Forest. When the young grizzly bear began hanging around horse trails and stealing snacks from tourists, she was trapped near the Pahaska Tepee Resort outside of Cody, Wyoming, and arrived at the zoo two days later.
The staff at the zoo held a public naming contest for the bear. Hundreds of suggestions were submitted, which were narrowed down to three: Stars, Shoni, and Weda (Shoshone for bear, pronounced wudah). The final votes were collected at the annual Zoo Boo event where Shoni went on public display for the first time. The chosen name was announced the following week.