UK's first polar bear cub in 25 years born at Scottish park" width="976" height="549">
Victoria was brought to the Highland Wildlife Park, which also has two male bears, last year
A female polar bear at a Scottish animal park has given birth to a cub, says the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. (RZSS).It is the first polar bear to be born in the UK in 25 years.The mother bear, Victoria, is one of three adult polar bears at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, near Aviemore.RZSS said "high-pitched noises" made by the cub could be heard from Victoria's maternity den just before Christmas.The last polar bear cubs born in the UK were twins at Flamingo Land in Yorkshire on 8 December 1992.
The effort to breed polar bears in Scotland
How do you find a mate for a polar bear"Because we don't have sight inside her cubbing box we can't be sure if Victoria has had more than one cub, but we can confirm the birth.
Polar bears Victoria, left, and Arktos
"While we are absolutely thrilled, we are not celebrating prematurely as polar bear cubs have a high mortality rate in the first weeks of life due to their undeveloped immune system and the mother's exaggerated need for privacy, with any disturbance risking the cub being killed or abandoned."She added: "We will continue to monitor Victoria and very much hope for the best possible news when she emerges around March. "Until then, Victoria's enclosure will be closed to the public and keeper activity will be at a minimum to give her offspring every chance of survival."Bear minimum: A brief guide to polar cubs
Polar bears mate between March and June.
Females normally giving birth to one or two cubs in November or December
New-born polar bear cubs are blind, about 30cm long and weigh little more than a guinea pig. They only open their eyes when they are a month old
Victoria previously gave birth at Aalborg Zoo in Denmark in 2008, having been born in 1996 at Rostock Zoo in Germany. She arrived at RZSS' Highland Wildlife Park in March 2015
Male bear Arktos arrived at the park in April 2012 from Hanover Zoo in Germany. He was born in 2008 at Vienna Zoo
Arktos shares an enclosure with another male, Walker, whose own time as a cub was the source of a controversy over the BBC's Frozen Planet documentary
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