Arctic ring at Copenhagen Zoo

CNC report from Copenhagen
Added On February 9, 2013

Normally, it would be the last thing you would see in your life if you experience it in the wild.

But luckily at the new Arctic Ring in the Copenhagen Zoo, visitors can get a chance to see polar bears closer than ever before.

Lifestyles has more on the dangerous predator's exhibit.

A new plant for arctic animals has been inaugurated in Copenhagen Zoo.

Visitors can get as close as only a few inches to watch the polar bears without any threat of harm.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SAMI WIDELL, Event manager of Copenhagen Zoo
"The Arctic Ring here behind me is actually an exhibit where we have seals, harbor seals, polar bears and some of the birds from the arctic. We have been building on this for the last 4-5 years and we had the opportunity to do this because of a great donation to put some of the arctic animals in focus here in Copenhagen."

Thanks to donation by the Maersk Foundation, the living environment of Arctic Circle gives those creatures ideal conditions.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SAMI WIDELL, Event manager of Copenhagen Zoo
"Some of the big issues with polar bears are that need a lot of spaces with a lot of water as well as they can get some exercise and they can move around. One of the most important things is to make sure they have some new things to do. In here in the exhibit we have different gravel, different grounds and places with plants and grass. We feed them many times during the day so they always have something new to keep them busy.”

The zoo are doing a lot to make sure that they express natural behavior and live as naturally as possible in captivity.

In the wild, these animals would have to survive minus 40 degrees Celsius in the winter. Luckily in Denmark they don't have to endure the freezingly cold weather.

And the polar bears don't mind having a hot summer, adapting themselves nicely to the temperatures here.

So life is much easier here, with less miserable climate, adequate food and, if they get sick, a veterinarian would come and takes care of them.

Compared with wild polar bears, the two who were born in the zoo are much easier to get along with.

The Copenhagen Zoo is too impatient to wait for the next generation to come, even though the two bears are still very young.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SAMI WIDELL,Event manager of Copenhagen Zoo
"We have a great history for polar bear cubs here in our zoo, but these bears are quite young. The female has been for a few years after coming up here from an Italian zoo, and the male came from a Russian zoo a few years ago, so they are still teenagers and we saw the first mating's actually last summer. But polar bears are a bit difficult in this concern. The female goes into hibernation in the winter where she has her cubs, and they need a special build room for that where there is almost no sound. The smallest disturbance might end up with her being stressed and  actually eating her young ones, because in the wild if she hear some sound there it might be a male polar bear coming to eat the cubs, so normally she will get scared and do it herself. But hopefully next year we will be so lucky.”

The Arctic Circle has cost around 30 million US dollars, and the number of visitors has already set new records in its first two days.