Name our Andean Bear Cub

In January this year we announced the fantastic news of the patter of tiny bear paws, as a baby Andean bear, the first to be born at the Durrell Wildlife Park for over twenty years, was welcomed into the world.

Over the past few months Islanders, along with supporters from much further afield, have been gripped as they watched touching moments between mum Bahia and her cub from inside the cubbing den. This is thanks to infra-red cameras installed inside the den, known as the ‘den cam’. Now, as the weather gets warmer and thecub gets braver, visitors to the Park have been delighted to see the cub venture outside to explore his surroundings.

This month Durrell has launched a very special competition, calling for suitable names for the new addition. Supporters are invited to visit and donate a minimum of £5 as they submit their suggestion. The final selection will be made by keepers at the Park and announced on 7th June 2016.

As an additional incentive, the person who submits the winning name will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with one of Durrell’s keepers to get a close-up view of the bear family.

Commenting on the nearly five-month old cub, senior mammal keeper Jenna Hunt said, “He is really boisterous now and spends lots of time running around the dens playing with the toys we give him. By far his favourite are cardboard boxes, which he loves to jump in, out and through, rip apart and throw around! He is growing in independence and loves to climb trees when he is outside.”

Going on to discuss the threats to this particular species Jenna said, “Andean bears are listed by the IUCN as vulnerable but the current trend sees their population decreasing by about 30% in the next 30 years. Accurate population estimates are extremely hard to come by due to the large habitat range and the shy nature of these bears.”