AboutZoos, Since 2008


Rot­ter­dam Zoo polar bear nearly breaks window

pub­lished 08 June 2012 | mod­i­fied 25 July 2012

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)

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