First polar bear cub born in UK for 25 years to leave Scotland for England

First polar bear cub born in UK for 25 years to leave Scotland for England

The first polar bear cub to be born in the UK in 25 years is being moved from his home in Scotland to a park in England.

Hamish, who is now two-and-a-half years old, shares an enclosure with his mother Victoria at the Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore.

His father, Arktos, is in an enclosure in another part of the park.

Hamish’s new home will be Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park, where there are already four polar bears.

The Highland Wildlife Park said Victoria and Arktos could be “paired up” again next year.

Hamish is due to be transported by road by a team from Yorkshire on Wednesday.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) had always planned to move him to another zoo once he was old enough to leave his mother.

In the wild, polar bear cubs usually leave their mothers after two to three years.

Hamish was born in December 2017 and his name was chosen through a public vote.

Thousands of people visited the park to catch a glimpse of the cub after the enclosure he shared with Victoria was reopened to the public in March 2018.

Rachel Williams, senior animal keeper at Highland Wildlife Park, said the “playful” bear would be missed by everyone at the park.

She said: “Hamish has made a tremendous impression on the thousands of people who visited the park since his birth and helped to highlight the threats many species face in the wild.

“It is exciting to see him moving on and playing his part in the European Endangered Species Programme.

“We’re sure Victoria will appreciate some peace and quiet before any next steps in the breeding programme.”

Ms Williams added: “All being well, we hope to pair her with Arktos again next year.”

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