05/12/2017 in Highland Wildlife Park
Scotland’s only male polar bears, Walker and Arktos, celebrated their birthdays in style this week with some special gifts!
Keepers at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie helped the boys mark the occasion in style by placing large presents into their enclosure. The boys enjoyed ripping into the boxes which were filled with their favourite treats of sardines and hotdogs.
Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said:
“When we first introduced the two boys, a number of external zoo colleagues predicted that the bond would not last once both were mature. We are now five years on, both bears are fully adult and bar the odd argument, they are still good pals. Celebrating their joint birthday is also a further indicator to those of us that are responsible for their day to day care that we made the correct decision that has enhanced the quality of both bears’ lives.”
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park currently hosts Scotland’s only polar bears – two males and one female – with the two boys having formed a close bond since the arrival of Arktos from Hanover Zoo in 2012. Arktos turned ten on 30 November whilst his bear-pal Walker, turns nine a week later on 7 December.
Polar bears are the largest living land carnivore with a distinctive white coat, huge paws and an ability to withstand the extremely cold conditions of the high Arctic. Usually solitary animals in the wild, their main food source is seals, but when they are not available polar bears will prey on young walrus, beluga whales and, very rarely, seabirds. Polar bears are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to the reduction in sea ice, their seal hunting platform, as a result of climate change.