Female polar bear brought to UK in hope of breeding

Victoria has been transferred from Aalborg Zoo in Demark to the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland

Updated: 
Walker The Polar Bear Celebrates His 3rd Birthday

The Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland has today (Wednesday) welcomed a female polar bear.

Victoria, the bear, has been brought to the UK in the hopes of raising the first UK polar bear cub in more than 20 years.

She has been moved from Aalborg Zoo in Demark to the wildlife park in Kincraig, Scotland, the BBC reports.

Two male polar bears are already living at the park and it is hoped that Victoria will be a potential mate for Arktos who currently lives there with Walker (pictured).

Victoria was born at Rostock Zoo in Germany in 1996 just four years after the last polar bear cub was born in the UK in 1992.

She will be the only female polar bear in the UK and has previously given birth to cubs in 2008.

Her cub Malik gained online notoriety in 2008 when hundreds of thousands of people were able to watch his first days at Aalborg Zoo online.

There's a chance that an attempt at breeding will happen this year but only if the bear settles into her new environment easily.

It currently looks more likely that this will happen next year especially given that the breeding time for polar bears is between March and May, allowing only a short amount of time for it to happen this year.

Polar bears live separately in the wild so, although she won't be living with the two male polar bears she will be in an enclosure with plenty of natural space and a large pond.

The wildlife park keepers will monitor the behaviour of the bears continually, checking for signs that they are ready to mate, the Guardian reports.

Due to their strength, a fight between the bears could prove deadly which is why keepers plan to introduce the polar bears gradually over the course of a few months.

Head of living collections for Highland Wildlife Park, Douglas Richardson, said: "A polar bear has not been born in the UK for many years and we hope that our novel approach to enclosure design and the correspondingly unique husbandry regime will quickly translate into success.

"The birth and rearing of polar bear cubs will be of real value to the regional breeding programme, help to highlight the plight of polar bears in the wild, and will be incredibly positive for Highland Wildlife Park."

However don't rush up to Scotland just yet because the bear will spend the next few weeks getting settled in her new environment before the public will be able to see her.

Until then you can watch the bears online on the wildlife park's webcam here.

Beautiful photos of polar bears and their cubs

Beautiful photos of polar bears and their cubs


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