Talking Polar bears

Talking Polar bears

I’m delighted to let you know that I’ve been invited by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSL) to give a talk on one of my faves – polar bears – on 29th August this year. The event will coincide with the commissioning of the new polar bear facility at the Highland Wildlife Park. At the moment…we’re not sure if I’ll be talking “on site” or in Edinburgh, but as soon as that’s confirmed, I’ll update this page. All of the bears held in an enormous ten acre enclosure are part of a European-wide breeding programme, and are descendants of troubled or captive bears.

“Polar bears are under threat due to the loss of habitat. They need sea ice as a hunting platform to catch seals, but global warming is causing the ice to melt earlier each year. This means that the polar bear has less time to hunt and put on weight for their summer fast or for a female to remain in the snow den caring for her young cubs. it is predicted that climate change will lead to a significant decrease in population numbers over the next 40 years.

“Our polar bears are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and, as a wildlife conservation charity, we care for both the animals here at the park and work to protect endangered species around the world. From providing genetics expertise and veterinary health, to protecting wild places with local partners, and even restoring threatened species to the wild, we are active where we are needed most” says RZSL.

“As well as being essential for the European breeding programme, which ensures a healthy and genetically diverse population of bears living in human care, giving Victoria the chance to be a mother is important for her individual wellbeing.

The opportunity to go through pregnancy and parenthood provides animals with a vital opportunity to express natural behaviours and is fantastic for their overall welfare.

Victoria is an incredible mother to Brodie and did a wonderful job raising Hamish, who now lives at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in a similarly large, natural and varied habitat.

Seeing her bring up two big, healthy boys has been a joy for our charity’s dedicated teams and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have flocked to see the family in action” they have added.

If you’re going to be in Scotland…why not drop in? Full details on ticketing etc will be available through the society and on this page in due course.