Home   News   Article

Hamish the polar bear says goodbye to Highland Wildlife Park

By Tom Ramage

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Packing his bags: Hamish has been a huge hit at Kincraig ever since arriving in the world
Packing his bags: Hamish has been a huge hit at Kincraig ever since arriving in the world

The first polar bear cub to be born in the UK for 25 years is to leave his home at the Highland Wildlife Park.

The two-and-a-half-year-old bear has been a favourite with visitors since he first emerged at the park in Kincraig in March 2018, but it is now time for him to leave mum Victoria.

Rachel Williams, senior animal keeper at Highland Wildlife Park, said: "In the wild, polar bear cubs will stay with their mothers for two to three years, so this is a natural time for Hamish to be moving on and I’m sure Victoria will appreciate some peace and quiet.

"It has been an incredible two and a half years watching him grow and he will be missed by everyone here at the park.

"There’s still time for visitors to come and say goodbye before Hamish leaves at the end of October, he is still a very playful bear."

David Field, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland which owns the park, said: "A critical part of our role as a wildlife conservation charity is education. Hamish has made a tremendous impression on the thousands of people who visited the park since his birth two and a half years ago, and the billions who saw the news around the world.

"He has helped to highlight the threats many species face in the wild and the changes we can undertake to really make a difference.

"Changes in the Arctic climate mean the sea ice that wild polar bears, and other animals, depend on for survival is shrinking and it is predicted this will significantly decrease population numbers over the next 40 years.

"Hamish has been and continues to be an incredible ambassador for his relatives in the wild."

Yorkshire Wildlife Park's head of animals Dr Matt Hartley said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Hamish to Project Polar where he will join our other male bears.

"Yorkshire Wildlife Park participates in the European Endangered Species Programme by housing sub-adult males during the important period of their development prior to becoming breeding males or retired males that are genetically well represented in the carefully managed population.

"Our expansive reserves allow social interaction, play, exploration and behavioural development that is vital for bear wellbeing."

Hamish’s move will take place at the end of October with the exact date to be confirmed.

Click here for more news

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More