Bear cubs roll around in the snow after tearing into heart-shaped pinatas

Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent

Two bear cubs happily rolled about in the snow as they tucked into special Valentine’s Day treats – including marshmallows.

The furry siblings cheerfully set about opening heart-shaped pinatas filled with their favourite snacks to mark the occasion.

Brown bears Mish and Lucy worked together to get at the treats inside by nibbling at the sides before triumphantly feasting on the contents.

The brother and sister cubs, who were rescued from Albania after being found alone and abandoned, have a close family bond and live at Wildwood Trust near Canterbury, Kent.

Inside the pinatas the bears discovered their favourite treats, including fresh fruit and a tiny handful of marshmallows.

Valentine’s at the Wildwood Trust
Mish investigates a heart-shaped pinata stuffed with treats (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Senior keeper Sally Holt said: “While Valentine’s Day coincides with many of our animals putting on a show for their prospective mates, it’s also a great time to celebrate the family love we see in the park, and in the animal kingdom!

“Our bear cubs especially love nothing more than spending time together playing, snoozing and foraging, and many of our residents live in family groups.

“We wanted to celebrate them this year, as we know that many families out there will have formed stronger bonds, just like our animals, over the last year together.”

As well as an excellent excuse to potter around in some of the snow that has blanketed parts of the South East, the pinatas help the cubs build important skills.

Opening the packages encourages the young bears to search out treats and mimics their natural foraging behaviour.

Valentine’s at the Wildwood Trust
Mish, left, and Lucy at the Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mish and Lucy spend all their time together – reflective of families across the UK who have spent months with only each other over the past year.

Other families around the popular wildlife park include the cool and aloof lynx sisters Shria and Cara, Arctic fox comic couple uncle Teddy and niece Flo, and the six-strong wolf pack, led by parents Odin and Nuna.

Many of the park’s actual couples will also be courting this Valentine’s, keepers say.

Otter Loki is asking his mate Freya to “be his otter half” and the park’s inseparable barn owl couple are promising that “owl be your Valentine’s”, they said.

From Our Partners