Tuesday, 5 June, Vicks the adolescent polar bear of Rotterdam Zoo caused considerable damage to one of the windows of its enclosure. Windows that enable visitors to see the polar bears, Vicks and his mum Olinka, under water.
The outer layer of the 5 safety layers of the 7 cm thick laminated glass has been crackled, comparable with car windows damaged by stone-chippings.
Although the young and playful bear was first accused of having deliberately damaged the window, footage of the incident received by Rotterdam Zoo on June 7 proves beyond any doubt that Vicks is not a “deliberate smasher” of his exhibit. The video, unsuspectingly shot by Rob van der Horst in the polar bear exhibit, shows that Vicks was simply playing with the stone and was not attacking the window deliberately. You’ll see Vicks picking up a big stone from the bottom, dropping it and picking it up again. The first time the stone brushed past the window, the second time it hit the window. A clearly audible crack followed and the window snapped.
The strength of the window has been judged by various glass experts. Whether or not Vicks and his mum will be able to use their outdoor exhibit and the huge tank depends on the results of the investigation. The commitment of everyone in Rotterdam Zoo is to let Vicks stay in Rotterdam.
The above news item is reprinted from materials available at Rotterdam Zoo’s website. Original text may be edited for content and length.
(Source: Rotterdam Zoo, 07.06.2012)