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The polar bear enclosure

Follow the bears on webcam

The polar bear enclosure from 1999 is still among the world’s best enclosures for polar bears. It is primarily designed specifically to the behaviour of the animals and, secondly, it is adapted to meet the wishes of the visitors who want to experience the animals in an exciting manner. The enclosure has eight viewpoints for visitors where they can experience the polar bears on land as well as in the water and underwater. The viewpoints have glass windows enabling the visitors to get very close to the animals. The water part itself takes up a lot of space in the enclosure, which makes it possible for us to feed the animals live trout, among other fish. This is a good activity for the animals as well as a nice experience for the visitors. The keepers often hide meat and lard around the enclosure in order to stimulate and activate the animals, in which the land part consists of rubble that provides the bears with a rich opportunity to dig

We have two enclosures divided by a trench so that we can separate the males from the females with cubs and to make room for cleaning. The stables are hidden from visitors, but life behind the scene can be followed on surveillance TV next to the enclosure. The enclosure also shows a fishing hut that looks like the huts on the northeast side of Greenland. It is in this way that we enhance the feeling of truly experiencing the animals as authentically as possible.

Polar bears require a lot of activity in order to not develop a stereotypical behaviour, and so the keepers are always busy finding new and exciting ways of keeping the animals occupied. They bury food for instance, grease the rocks with lard or honey, or feed the animals live fish. The bears are also activated by means of tyres, balls, and other toys – polar bears are very inquisitive and playful! In order to keep the animals on their toes, innovations are needed all the time and set routines must be avoided.

Watch video clips here.

In the wild, polar bears primarily eat seals but like all bears, they eat everything, and in the zoo the menu also comprises fruits and vegetables, to where seeing a polar bear eating an apple or carrot is not unusual at all! Polar bears are primarily fed, however, horsemeat and lard.

 See more pictures of polar bears in our picture gallery

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