Jersey Zoo says farewell to Raymi the bear

On Tuesday 30th July, Jersey Zoo’s beloved Andean bear, Raymi, will be leaving the island for his new home at Givskud Zoo in Denmark. The adolescent bear, who turns 4-years-old in January, will be joining a female bear in the hope that they will breed and make a vital contribution to the breeding programme for the species.

Raymi was born at Jersey Zoo on the 3rd of January 2016 to mum, Bahia, and dad, Quechua. The name Raymi, meaning ‘celebration’ in Quechuan (an indigenous language in the Andes), was chosen for him by the Jersey public shortly after he was born, to celebrate the first Andean bear cub born at the zoo in over 20 years. Since his birth, Raymi has been an adored member of the zoo’s bear family, whose playful and mischievous behavior has been enjoyed by both staff and visitors alike.

Raymi and his new mate have been carefully selected by the Andean bear studbook holder, who is in charge of pairing animals for breeding. He will be greatly missed, but his keepers say he is ready to move on to another zoo to meet a female and start the next chapter of his life.

Senior Mammal Keeper, Leila Boyd, who has been one of Raymi’s keepers since he was born says, “Raymi will be hugely missed by everyone at the zoo. We’ve all watched him grow into the strong, independent bear he is today. He’s full of character and has certainly kept us busy these last few years with his adolescent bear antics. As much as we will all miss him, he has a great adventure ahead of him and we look forward to updates from his new keepers at Givskud Zoo. Here’s hoping for the pitter-patter of tiny paws at Givskud in the near future.”

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the zoo to see Raymi prior to his departure on the 30th of July to say a final farewell before he leaves.

Photos: Freya Clark