Aron, a three-year-old male polar bear born and raised in Tallinn Zoo, started his journey in a transport vehicle to the La Fleche zoo in France on Tuesday.
The coordinator of the polar bear breeding program has chosen a female polar bear from the zoo of Hellabrunn, Quintana, as a mate for Aron in the newly completed polar bear space at La Fleche.
The transfer of Aron to France makes it possible to bring a new male polar bear to the Tallinn Zoo to serve as a mate for the female named Friida.
Anne Saluneem, adviser at Tallinn Zoo, said that even though Aron had time in the summer to get used to the transport box, getting the predator weighing 300-400 kilograms into the transport box was an endeavour that required a lot of effort. She said, after some resistance, the polar bear boy went into the box quickly and in peace.
"In order for the animal to have a familiar smell with him at the new venue, we put his favorite toy into the truck - a piece of white plastic pipe that he likes to hold between his paws when playing in the water," Saluneem said.
Aron's departure makes it possible to bring a male mate for the female polar bear at Tallinn Zoo.
The coordinator of the polar bear breeding program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) has recommended Rasputin. Under initial plans, the 12-year-old Rasputin is due to arrive in Tallinn from his current home in Yorkshire Wildife Park before Christmas, said Tõnis Tasane, collection director at Tallinn Zoo.
The transfers of Aron to France and of the new male polar bear to Tallinn Zoo are enabled by the Endangered Species Program (EEP) of the EAZA, in which Tallinn Zoo is participating with at least 57 species.
Editor: Helen Wright