POLAR BEAR MYSTERY SOLVED
Wildlife: Health check reveals Victoria’ s four-month-old polar cub is a boy
It was a 50/50 question to which we were all awaiting an answer.
And now, the Royal Zoological Society Scotland has revealed that the first polar bear to be born in the UK for 25 years is a boy.
The next task will be to give him a name – presumably a title that will reflect his Highland roots and tie in well with mother Victoria’s name.
Staff at the charity’s Highland Wildlife Park discovered the four-monthold cub is male during his first routine health check yesterday morning.
Una Richardson, head keeper responsible for carnivores at Kincraig, said: “It was very exciting to find out we have a little boy.
“Next we need to give him a name and our keepers are coming up with a suitable list which we will soon ask the public to choose from on social media. This will help us engage with as wide an audience as possible to raise awareness of the threats polar bears are facing in the wild and the need to protect this magnificent species.”
The cub was born in the week before Christmas – although, until a few weeks ago, the birth had only been confirmed by highpitched noises heard from the maternity den.
But in early March, the cub’s first venture into the outside world was caught on camera.
The cub has been introduced to his large outdoor enclosure with mum Victoria and has already taken his first swim.
“He is becoming more confident every day and is doing well. We were able to give him a quick health check, ensuring he was back alongside Victoria very swiftly,” Ms Richardson said.
“While there is a lot of interest from the public, we are reminding visitors that he is still very young and is spending a lot of time in his cubbing den.”
The last polar bear cubs born in the UK were twins at Flamingo Land in Yorkshire in December 1992.
The cub’s parents are Victoria and Arktos.
Victoria previously gave birth at Aalborg Zoo in Denmark in 2008, having been born in 1996 at Rostock Zoo in Germany. She arrived at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in March 2015.
Arktos arrived at the park in April 2012 from Hanover Zoo in Germany, having been born in 2008 at Vienna Zoo.
“He is becoming more confident every day and is doing well”
FUR BABY: The cub is now venturing out after spending months in his den