Hamish front runner in polar bear poll

20 April 2018, 15:27

Polar bear cub highland wildlife park

The name of the first polar bear to be born in the UK for 25 years is to be chosen in a public poll.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has drawn up a shortlist of four names for the young male cub - Artor, Hamish, MacKinnon or Poulsen.

Poulsen is in tribute to bear behaviourist Else Poulsen, who worked at the park before passing away in 2016, while MacKinnon was put forward in memory of a long-term supporter of RZSS.

The two other names have Scottish links with Artor being a Pictish name for a bear and a nod to the cub's father Arktos, and Hamish said to be "ideal for a polar bear born in the Highlands".

The four-month-old cub, based at a special enclosure in the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie, is said to be growing in confidence and exploring his den with mother Victoria.

The social media vote is open until April 26, with Hamish the early front runner.

Highland Wildlife Park said: "Now that we know the polar bear cub is a boy, we need your help to pick a name.

"The keepers at our Highlands Wildlife Park have whittled down all the options to a shortlist and would like our visitors and supporters to vote for their favourite."

The cub was born in the week before Christmas, with Victoria having mated with Arktos, one of two male polar bears at the park.

RZSS described the birth as an "outstanding achievement" and the process was featured in a Channel 4 documentary broadcast earlier this year.