A Swedish polar bear named Wilbär has been moved to Dierenrijk in Mierlo as part of an animal protection program. According to this protection management program, the polar bears who are having a hard time in the wild are moved to different European zoos with protection facilities.
“Polar bears are vulnerable in nature, which is why European zoos have established a management program for this species. This ensures a healthy back-up population of wildlife species in the parks that are endangered in nature. The main threat to the polar bear is climate change. The sea ice is melting at a rapid rate due to the rise in temperature”, Dierenrijk says.
Sea ice is crucial for their survival
The ice sea in the polar environment is crucial for the polar bears. Head of animal care, Stephan Rijnen, explains why the sea ice is so important for the animals. “Polar bears need ice to survive, as they don’t hunt very well in the water. They mainly eat ringed seals and catch them from the ice. The animals wait patiently at a vent in the ice for a seal to surface to breathe, then strike. If there is no longer enough ice, it will be difficult for seals to eat,” adding, “If it continues like this, most of the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer within one generation.”