Here at the Highland Wildlife Park we’ve had a very wonderful event and our female polar bear, Victoria, has given birth. We started to hear cub noises from before Christmas. And they have continued right the way through the New Year. So we are quietly confident that everything is going very
well with the birth. We expect a huge level of interest not just from within Scotland but from around the world. We’re dealing with a birth that is hugely significant from a conservation perspective, but is also one of the most iconic species: the polar bear. We’ve gotten past the first
critical period. but with very young polar bears there is, in some cases, almost a 50% mortality rate. So we are remaining quite cautious about the birth. The situation for polar bears in the wild is becoming worse and worse because of climate change and resource use in the Arctic. And there is the possibility that at some point in this century bears from the captive population may be needed to augment what’s left of a wild population. Whilst the Park is open, the area at Victoria’s enclosure is closed to visitors. And there’s nothing for them to see of her or the cubs. But, if all goes well, come March they’ll be out in the enclosure and then visitors will be able to see them for themselves.