New polar bear for Ranua Zoo Wildlife Park

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The time of the polar bear mother Venus as the only polar bear in Ranua Zoo was short, as the 15-year-old male polar bear Nord arrived at Ranua Zoo in February to replace the male Sisu who moved to Doncaster, England in December.
Ranua Zoo winter visit

The two polar bear adults will live separated

The male polar bear Nord arrived in Ranua on Monday, February 22, 2021 at the Ranua Zoo. Nord is from Denmark, Skandinavisk Dyrepark, but originally the male was born at the Moscow Zoo. The transfer was carried out on the recommendation of the EAZA Polar Bear Coordinator.

Nord’s journey from Denmark began on February 19 and the polar bear male arrived at his new home on Monday. The trip to Finland was made both by road and by boat. The trip itself went well in all respects and the appetite of the male who had settled into his new home was immediately in place.

Nord’s first days in Ranua are about getting used to it as well as getting to know the caretakers, and that’s why the polar bear male may at times remain hidden from the public. Venus and Nord will also spend the first moments of their common journey apart, but if everything goes according to plan and the polar bears are friendly, they will get to know each other better already in the late spring. Expectations for a new polar bear cub have not yet been set for this year.

The polar bear has been identified as endangered in nature and a European Ex-situ Program (EEP) has been established for the species at the European Zoo and Aquarium Organization (EAZA), which includes both Ranua Zoo and Skandinavisk Dyrepark. The aim of the program is to maintain the population of polar bears living in zoos as vibrant and sufficiently genetically diverse.

Polar bear cubs born in Ranua are living abroad

Ranuan Eläinpuiston jääkarhunpentu Sisu
Sisu the polar bear cub of Ranua Zoo in spring 2017 (c) Tuomas Haapala

Venus and the late male polar bear Manasse, who had to be put to sleep in autumn 2017, had two living polar bear cubs together Ranzo (born in 2012) and the already mentioned Sisu (born in 2016) have continued their own lives abroad. Finland’s first zoo-born and surviving polar bear cub, Ranzo, moved to the Austrian Vienna Zoo in the spring of 2014, and Ranzo’s little brother Sisu moved to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster in December 2020.

With the move of Nord to Ranua, it is certainly hoped that in the next few years the Wildlife Park will be able to celebrate and witness the beginnings of the third surviving polar bear cub in the zoo. 

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