14/08/2017 in Highland Wildlife Park
World Bromance Day takes place today, Monday 14 August and at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, Walker and Arktos – Scotland’s only male polar bears – got into the spirit of things by sharing what can only be described at the country’s biggest bear hug!
Our resident polar bears have been best friends since being introduced to one another in April 2012. Walker arrived at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park from Rhenen Zoo in the Netherlands in October 2010, followed two years later by Arktos (from Hanover Zoo) in April 2012. The two boys went on to form a very close bond, which has endured ever since.
Una Richardson, Head Keeper at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said: “Our polar bear bromance at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park is clear for everyone to see. From play fighting to dunking each other under water and generally messing around, the pair get on extremely well. It is a real pleasure to watch their friendship flourish and continue to grow after so many years together.”
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park is also home to the UK's only female polar bear, Victoria, who arrived at the Park in March 2015. Victoria has her very own large, custom-built enclosure about one mile away from the boys, mimicking the behaviour of polar bears in the wild (which only come together to breed).
RZSS is one of the UK’s leading authorities on polar bears, often offering advice on enclosure design and husbandry to other zoological collections around the world. In total, RZSS Highland Wildlife Park devotes over four hectares (or ten acres) to its polar bears, more than any other zoological institution in the world.
The polar bear is current listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of endangered species; however, climate change is predicted to cause further sea-ice losses and it is estimated that the global population could decline by over 30% in just three generations. RZSS is playing its part in safeguarding the future of this species by supporting a well-managed captive population of polar bears both now and in the future.