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GELENDZHIK, November 9. /TASS/. A polar bear cub that was saved in the Arctic is now getting accustomed to his new home in a safari park near Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Gelendzhik, Elena Peretokina, a park’s veterinarian, told TASS on Sunday.
The cub was taken to Gelendzhik by air and was placed in a quarantine enclosure where it will stay for a month, she said, adding that the little beast was feeling well despite the fact it had had to spent some time under the action of a tranquilizing agent.
“As soon as we released the cub into its enclosure, the first thing it did it rushed to food we had prepared for it. First it gulped sweetened condensed milk and then got busy with meat, fish and fruits. After this square meal, it plunged into a swimming pool. As a matter of fact, it behaves quite confidently as though it was born here but not in the Arctic,” she said.
Safari park attendants say the baby polar bear is not afraid of people. “It only growls at tall males and seems to take no notice of those who are not that tall,” Peretokina said.
Veterinarians are not yet sure about the gender of the cub but is has already been given a name of Serezhka. “If it turns out to be a male, we will have a bridegroom for our female polar bear cub of about the same age, who arrived here from the Arctic in August,” he added.
The safari park administration plans to expand the existing enclosure, which is now home for two grownup polar bears who can enjoy all the amenities to make their lives as comfortable as in the Extreme North: a cave shelter with a refrigerator effect and a spacious swimming pool with ice cold water.
“As soon as the quarantine period is over, we will acquaint the new settler with its new girlfriend. They will communicate with adult bears only through a fence,” Peretokina said.
Two polar bear cubs of about ten months of age appeared in the vicinity of the Malye Karmakuly polar station in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago some two weeks ago. Specialists working at the station shared their food with the cubs and asked their chief organization to help find a shelter for the animals that apparently could not survive in the wild. One of these cubs was some time later killed by an adult fame polar bear. The other one had little chance to survive too. People barely found the baby bear huddling in snow after the attack of the adult beast.
Currently, the global polar bear population is about 20,000-25,000. The polar bear is the biggest and the heaviest land animal, reaching three metres in length and weighing about one tonne. The polar bear is entered in the IUCN /International Union for the Conservation of Nature/ Red List of Threatened Species and the Russian Red List of Endangered Species.