12/11/2012 6:00:00 AM
Siku at One Year
One of Siku's main caregivers, Janne, is sending us regular updates on the polar bear cub that was hand-raised at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park in Denmark after his mother failed to produce milk. You can watch him on the Siku Cam daily. Here is her latest report:
Siku has reached the 1 year mark and weighs over 100 kg, so he's really becoming a big boy! We allowed him to bulk up a little bit for the winter so that he can keep warm. With the cold weather he isn't bathing as much and his fur really fluffs up when it's dry, making him look fatter than he really is. We still monitor his weight weekly, and he is still gaining about 2-3 kg a week like he did all summer.
He is really settling in with his changed routine. A couple of months ago when the park closed he was used to people sleeping in a caravan next to his enclosure and also seeing all kinds of people, both guests and keepers, all through the day. Now he only sees people when they are working near his enclosure or the two times a day his keepers feed him. But he does have constant company on the other side of the fence from one of the adult polar bears. At the moment it's an old female named Smilla. We have spent a lot of time and energy preparing him for this situation, making sure that he was able to entertain himself, that he was OK with being on his own and that he in every way had the independence and confidence he needed. This has really paid off, and he is doing beautifully on his own. We are very proud of the way our little polar bear cub is growing up to be a healthy polar bear.
Snow has fallen in Denmark and all the polar bears, including Siku, love it. Siku loves to run around in the snow, playing snow shovel, sliding down the hills, and just plain being silly. Last week he got to visit the big enclosure for a little snow photo session with the photographer SÌüren Koch. That is always a big hit, and with the snow it was just even more fun. The little pond in the big enclosure was partly frozen, and Siku was testing the ice, going out slowly and stopping if it started to crack. At one point he stretched out one of his front legs and pushed out with his hind legs, scooting along on the ice, getting further out on the thin ice. It was hard to tell if he was really trying to distribute his weight or it was a fun new game.