What do you know about Finland is often asked from foreigners. And sometimes the answer is cold weather, a lot of snow and polar bears walking around. At this point the inquirer may smile a bit. We are not in Spitsbergen, there you have to be aware of polar bears, in Finland not. We only have brown bears and they live in the wilderness. It is very rare if you see this brown predator even when hiking in nature.
But to be honest there are polar bears, too. Only three creatures and they live in Ranua Wildlife Park. Let’s take a closer look to these great animals and some others, too.
A polar bear cub was born in Ranua Zoo in November 2016. The proud mother showed this cute little one to a curious audience in March this year. It is a remarkable thing that a captured polar bear gives birth and that the cub survives his first weeks. Only once before has this succeeded in Finland. The same mother, Venus, had a baby boy in 2012, and when the cub named as Ranzo got older, he was transferred to an Austrian Zoo in Vienna.
This new born cub is a wild package and his mother has a lot to do with him. I visited Ranua Zoo in April and it was so much fun to follow their doings. Papa bear, Manasse, also lives in the same zoo, but he has his own area. Male polar bears may even attack and eat their own cubs, so they have to keep separated.
It is a breathtaking experience to see these huge white bears at close range. Sadly this king of winter has become a symbol of climate change.
The adorable cub has no name yet. There is a naming competition going on, check here: http://ranua-zoo.sivuviidakko.fi/suuri-nimikilpailu-eng.html
Our Finnish brown bear hibernates through the winter, and now it is the time they usually come out from their winter nests. Same happens in the zoo. There were two bears awake, but the other one still seemed a bit tired, so after a short walk she went back to sleep.
What else is to be found in the Ranua Zoo? A lot, but these domestic ones are my favourites:
A wolf, the ancestor of all dogs. An endangered species which lives all over Finland. I love wolves. There is just something mysterious about them.
Another also very endangered species is wolverine. Usually this small carnivore does not breed in zoos, but in 2014 wolverine cubs were born in Ranua Zoo.
And then there is lynx! A beautiful cat who has bobble ears. I am more of a dog person, but this wild cat I do like!
READ MORE: english.ranuazoo.com