Many of you have had questions about Siku the baby polar bear’s growth and development. Here are a couple of FAQs his caretaker Janne has taken the time to answer:
Is Siku just chewing on the grass or is he really eating it? If he is eating it, what is the significance of that behavior for a polar bear and does it have any benefits?
Siku is a curious little polar bear, and he will mouth and taste everything around him. Some of it will come out again and some will be eaten. The grass, clover, and other plants in the enclosure usually will be eaten. We think he does this because he likes the taste of it. A polar bear’s digestive system isn’t equipped to get nutrients out of plants, so even though it is perfectly safe for him to eat, it only has limited nutritional value for him. We only rarely see the adult polar bears eating plants. Polar bears in the wild spend most of their lives on snow and ice, and even though they will encounter grass or other plants in the summer, plants are not a significant part of a polar bear’s diet.
Does Siku still have his favorite stuffed polar bear that he used to sleep with when he was a baby?
No, he doesn’t. We had to take it away from him after he stopped sleeping with it and instead took it swimming in his pond several times. We were afraid that the stuffed bear would end up in the pipes in the water system, and he is so big now that he doesn’t need that to cuddle with anymore.
More updates on Polar Bears International’s website.