Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Polar bear cub ventures outside for first time at Highland Wildlife Park

Victoria and her cub (RZSS)
Victoria and her cub (RZSS/Channel 4)

THE first polar bear cub to be born in the UK for 25 years has emerged at Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park.

The cub was born the week before Christmas but this is the first time it has been glimpsed by Park staff.

Mother Victoria and the cub’s enclosure will be closed to the public until later in the month to give the duo privacy.

Una Richardson, head keeper for carnivores, said she had to ‘pinch herself’ when she first laid eyes on the young bear.

She said: “Suddenly I saw a small, fluffy bundle next to her [Victoria] and had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t seeing things.

“It was a very special experience and one I’ll never forget.”

She added: “In the coming weeks we’ll also be able to find out if we have a little boy or girl and then we’ll decide on a name.”

First polar bear in UK for 25 years born at Highland Wildlife Park

Douglas Richardson, head of living collections at the park, said the team are ‘thrilled’ with the new arrival.

He continued: “Some may wonder whether there is any point in breeding polar bears in zoos and the question deserves a serious answer.

“The change in the Arctic climate, specifically the shortening of the ice season, coupled with more direct human pressures, is having a noticeably detrimental effect on the species that is likely to result in many of the wild sub-populations disappearing.

“If we do not develop and maintain a genetically and behaviourally robust captive polar bear population, we will not have the option, should we require it, to use them to support what is likely to be a diminished and fragmented wild population in the future.”

P-p-p-pop the bubbles! Edinburgh Zoo celebrates Penguin Awareness Day

The cub’s arrival has been welcomed by polar bear conservation charity Polar Bears International, whose executive director Krista Wright said, “We would like to congratulate Highland Wildlife Park on the successful birth of their polar bear cub.

“With polar bears facing grave threats from sea ice loss in a warming climate, it is important for facilities like Highland Wildlife Park to help educate visitors and involve them in solutions. This cub will serve as an ambassador for its wild cousins, inspiring people to care.”

Cameras have been place outside the Victoria’s den since early February for a forthcoming documentary, made for Channel 4 by STV Productions, about the park’s polar bear breeding programme.

Britain’s Polar Bear Cub airs on Channel 4 at 7pm on Sunday 18 March.