Cub company for park's polar bear
Published 05/11/2010 | 09:20
The UK's only polar bear has company for the first time in 13 years after a young cub arrived from overseas at his new home.
The bear, a 23-month-old called Walker, was transported by sea and road from Holland's Rhenen Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie, Inverness-shire.
He arrived at the park on Thursday and is now being released into a special holding pen where he and resident polar bear Mercedes will be able to see each other for the first time.
Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said the transfer went smoothly.
He said: "Our colleagues at Rhenen Zoo managed to get Walker into his travelling crate without incident, which helped make the journey for him less stressful.
"His crate was lifted onto a lorry and he travelled by road and then by ferry to Hull and up the A9, which took around 24 hours.
"When he arrived here last night, he walked out of his crate and immediately began investigating his indoor den, so we are looking forward to seeing how he and Mercedes react to one another once he is released into the holding pen."
Walker was born at Rhenen Zoo in December 2008. He was moved to Scotland after his mother, Huggies, became pregnant with another litter.
Mercedes was until now the only polar bear in a UK zoo.
Her home near Kingussie extends over four acres of land, making it one of the largest polar bear enclosures in Europe.