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Legacy case study

Highland Wildlife Park polar bear Victoria

In 2014, RZSS was seeking to establish a new polar bear enclosure at its Highland Wildlife Park site, in Kingussie. The new enclosure would allow a new female polar bear to be brought into the Park following the loss of our beloved Mercedes. RZSS  was hopeful that the new polar bear enclosure would also result in successful breeding with one of its resident male polar bears.

RZSS was very grateful to receive a generous legacy around this time, which helped enable its plans to progress much quicker than anticipated. Building of the new enclosure began in 2014 and shortly after this RZSS welcomed Victoria, a beautiful female polar bear, into the specially built new home - where she still lives today. The Highland Wildlife Park now provides more living space for polar bears than any other zoo in the world and the new area features soft grassy areas, natural slopes, ponds and trees.

In early 2016 Victoria began mating with one of the resident male polar bears, Arktos.  RZSS is hopeful that polar bear cubs will make an appearance later in the year. If this happens it will be a milestone for RZSS as it would mark the first time in 25 years that polar bears have bred in the UK.

Building this enclosure to encourage polar bear breeding – classed as ‘vulnerable’ in the wild - is also helping RZSS in its  mission to safeguard species from extinction. Research has estimated that the global population of polar bears could decline by over 30% in three generations if sea-ice loss continues as projected. The work which RZSS carries out for polar bears, and for other vulnerable species around the world, simply would not be possible without the support it receives. Thanks to one legacy, RZSS has taken a huge step forward in global polar bear conservation.


Thank you for considering supporting RZSS.



Find out more about leaving a legacy:

RZSS legacy packDownload our legacy pack

Discover how leaving a gift in your Will can help safeguard species from extinction.

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