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Meet Brodie! The Highland Wildlife Park’s new polar bear cub finally has a name

A polar bear cub born at the Highland Wildlife Park has been named by a competition winner.

Brodie, a Scottish word for second son, took his first steps outside of his den at the park today.

He is getting ready to capture the hearts of the nation when visitors are finally allowed to get a glimpse themselves from Monday.

Brodie the new polar bear cub plays with mother Victoria.

Brodie is only the second polar bear to be born in the UK in the last 25 years.

Recent footage captured the cub, who was born in December, walking around the enclosure with his mum Victoria.

At the park today, Brodie was spotted playing happily.

Mum Victoria kept a watchful eye on the cub as he played a game of hide and seek with the waiting photographers.

He was brimming with confidence.

Why Brodie?

The last cub born in the UK was Brodie’s brother Hamish, who became a firm visitor favourite after being born at the park in 2017.

He was moved to Yorkshire Wildlife Park last October to help with future breeding programmes.

The Royal Zoological Society held a recent prize draw which raised £70,000 to help the charity build Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre at the park.

Winner Brian Whitehead chose the cub’s name from a keeper shortlist due to the Brodie clan’s ties to the Highlands.

Mr Whitehead said: “This is without doubt one of the best things that has ever happened for us and will definitely be a life-changing experience.

Brodie the new polar bear cub plays with his mother Victoria on one of his first days in his enclosure.

“I went with Brodie in the end because of it meaning second son. The family name Brodie has close ties in the area historically, it is very Scottish.

“The next visit is going to be even more awesome since we will get to come back again for the ultimate experience to meet little Brodie.

“We still can’t quite believe it.”

Excitement for visitors

Vickie Larkin, carnivore team leader at Highland Wildlife Park, said: “We are so excited for visitors to finally see little Brodie and want to remind everyone they must book their tickets in advance.

“He is doing very well and is growing more confident every day.

“It is important to be aware Brodie may only be visible for short spurts to begin with as he starts to explore his enclosure and grow stronger on his feet.

“After a lap of his enclosure, our wee cub enjoys a good snooze in the den with mum.

“Like the other polar bears here at the park, Brodie will act as an ambassador for his cousins in the wild.

“Seeing cubs like this up close is a great way to connect with nature and raise awareness of the plight the species faces in the wild.”

Boost for the Highland Wildlife Park

Senior carnivore keeper Judith Van De Voorde said Brodie was a “major boost” for the park.

It is hoped that he will become a iconic character like his brother Hamish.

Judith Van De Voorde, Head of Carnivores.

She said: “Brodie has a little more confidence than Hamish just now at this stage.

“It is so exciting for us to see the little one explore the outside of the enclosure.

“He is another ambassador for this species in the wild and boost for the park as well as visitors are keen to see him.

“We have to keep professional but he is so adorable.

“All my friends and family are asking about him.”

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