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Polar bear cub becomes tourist magnet

Visitors have been flocking to Ranua Wildlife Park in Lapland since a polar bear cub was born there in November. The zoo says the number of visitors during the recent ski holiday was twice as large as in previous years.

Image: Yle / Matti Konttinen

Intendant Mari Heikkilä says that some people have travelled as far as 400 kilometres to see the baby bear.

“People have been tremendously interested. The cub has been a great attraction,” Heikkilä notes.

She says the approaching summer tourist season will be a true test of the cub’s popularity.

At the moment, the young bruin is doing well and taking daily walks outside his den, Heikkilä says.

“The longest time the cub has spent outside with his mother in one go is two hours," she explains.

The furry tourist attraction is the first polar bear cub to survive birth in Finland. Polar bears are not native to the country.

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