Scotland's two male polar bears rip open birthday gifts

Walker and Arktos were given special treats at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park.

Scotland's two male polar bears had a birthday party in the Cairngorms on Monday.

Walker and Arktos were treated to some special gifts at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie.

The presents were placed in their enclosure and the bears enjoyed ripping into the boxes, which were filled with treats of sardines and hot dogs.

Arktos was celebrating his tenth birthday, while Walker turns nine on Thursday. The two males have formed a close bond despite fully grown male polar bears usually being at odds with one another.

Douglas Richardson, head of living collections at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said: "When we first introduced the two boys, a number of external zoo colleagues predicted that the bond would not last once both were mature.

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"We are now five years on, both bears are fully adult and bar the odd argument, they are still good pals.

"Celebrating their joint birthday is also a further indicator to those of us that are responsible for their day-to-day care that we made the correct decision that has enhanced the quality of both bears' lives."

Polar bears are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to the reduction in sea ice, their seal hunting platform, as a result of climate change.

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Presents: The bears enjoyed their hot dogs and sardines. RZSS
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