Sunday, 8 February 2009

Polar Bears

Whilst inputting my slides to the computer I came across a couple of pictures of Polar Bears which I took in the early 1960s in Chester Zoo. They had two Polar Bears at the time but I think they stopped keeping them in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

There is now only one zoo keeping polar bears in the UK - Edinburgh. That bear, Merecedes, has spent her entire life of 29 years in captivity. In 2005 the zoo announced plans for a massive new enclosure for Mercedes who could live to be forty but also said they would introduce more of the huge animals to the zoo. Animal activists highlighted the problems with Mercedes’ existing accommodation which was approximately one millionth of the area it would roam in the wild! They also claimed the zoo had gone back on a commitment not to keep any more Polar Bears once Mercedes died. I don't know what happened after that - whether the enclosure was built and whether they now have more than one Polar Bear.


  1. Beautiful animals aren't they?

  2. I remember visiting Chester zoo in the 80's - with Jenny Hodgson and family and seeing the polar bear there. When I visited Amsterdam in 2002 Artemis zoo had a polar bear in horrible conditions - really upsetting to see.

    Conditions in Vienna's zoo were much better - a larger enclosure with 2 or 3 of the animals. They looked much happier in a family group.

  3. Gosh, I hadn't realised the Polar Bear was still there that recently. Kicking myself that I didn't get more photos of it while I had the chance.


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