There has been some excitement at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park (SWP) recently as Ilka and her twins are going through the weaning process and Ilka prepares to mate again. This process is important but is not without its hiccups, so we asked Frank Vigh-Larsen, the Director of the SWP, a few questions about how things are going.
1. Where will the twins go now?
The studbook keeper of the European polar bear studbook will decide where the twins will go. We do not know yet.
2. How are the bears handling this transition?
Mother Ilka is not too happy, but the twins seem to be accepting their new life without mom.In another few days Ilka will settle down too.
3. How did you transport the male polar bear and how/when will you send him home? Is that process stressful for him?
The male polar bear’s name is Ivan and he came from the Copenhagen Zoo. He was transported to the SWP in a special built box that is BIG and STRONG. He is likely to go back to Copenhagen in early February. Ivan is “clicker trained”, so he will go into the box on his own free will. While he doesn’t particularly like the closing of the door and the transport, he is likely to be calm and back to his normal behavior 10 minutes after arriving back home.
4. How will you know if Ilka is pregnant?
We can’t know that Ilka is pregnant until she gives birth. We will be watching her on a video placed in the birth den.
Thanks to Frank for the interesting answers! We will keep you informed about what’s going on with the SWP polar bears with periodic blogs and updates in the SWP Cam’s comment section.
Polar Bears International