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Thread: Britain's only polar bear switches to new home in the Highlands

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default Britain's only polar bear switches to new home in the Highlands

    For a quarter of a century, Mercedes the polar bear had put up with the cramped confines of city living.
    But now, she has swapped her concrete cave at Edinburgh Zoo for the comfort of a rambling Highland retreat.
    Britain's only captive polar bear appeared relaxed as she explored her luxury four-acre pad at Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, Inverness-shire.

    Retreat: Mercedes appeared relaxed as she explored her new luxury-four acre home at Highland Wildlife Park

    The 28-year-old bear even took time for a swim in her own private pool before rolling around in the grass to dry off.
    Douglas Richardson, the park's animal collection manager, said: 'You would think she had been here for years.
    'We let her out for the first time on Wednesday for a few hours and she just cruised right out.
    'She is very, very calm. The extra space means her quality of life will improve markedly.'

    Chilling out: Mercedes relaxes in her new enclosure for her first public appearance since moving from Edinburgh Zoo

    Mercedes was transported north on Monday to her new home, which is Europe's largest bear enclosure.
    It comes complete with natural pool and tundra environment, including rocks, trees and hills, to better replicate her native habitat.
    Territorial Army soldiers from 75 Engineer Regiment helped construct the enclosure, while 51 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers built a road and car park - slashing the cost from a predicted 300,000 to 75,000.
    David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: 'Mercedes has been an extremely popular animal at Edinburgh Zoo and watching her leave was a poignant experience.
    ' We have been gradually moving animals that are better suited to colder climates from Edinburgh Zoo up to the Highland Wildlife Park and Mercedes is the latest of these moves.'

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  2. #2
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Looks like a happy bear!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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