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Penza zoo begins building polar bear enclosure with Rosneft support

11:00 | 29.12.2015 | Society

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Penza, 29 December 2015. PenzaNews. The Penza zoo has begun the construction of a new enclosure for Beliy the polar bear with support from Rosneft, the Penza zoo acting director Sergei Zubtsov told PenzaNews agency.

Photo: Zoo-penza.ru/

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According to him, the new home for the polar bear, nicknamed “The Bear Corner,” will be ready for moving in as early as in September 2016.

The area will feature a large pool where the animal will be able to swim to escape the heat, he clarified.

“Moreover, the enclosure will have several built-in windows to watch the bear in the water, and several toys and mechanisms to keep Beliy entertained,” Sergei Zubtsov pointed out.

Describing the project in the Penza zoo, he highlighted several requirements to the new enclosure.

“One of the most recent ecological requirements, a natural soil patch, is also included in the project. It is necessary for the animal, and it brings the conditions closer to his natural habitat,” the director explained.

The Penza zoo submitted the request for arctic animal support project to Rosneft in 2013.

In February 2014, the company gave a go on allocating funds on building an enclosure for Beliy, as a special gift to the region on the 75th anniversary of the modern Penza region.

Under the aforementioned program, the company provides assistance to improve conditions of polar bears in all Russian zoos and organizes scientific research expeditions to monitor their natural population.

Moreover, Rosneft pays particular attention to preservation and protection of Arctic mammals. The company plans to conduct constant monitoring of environment in Northern seas and adjacent shores during its offshore drilling projects, as preservation and protection of the polar bear population is one of the corporation’s priorities. The Rosneft Arctic Science Center helps organize complex research programs on Russian subpopulations of the animal as part of Kara-Zima and Kara-Leto Arctic expeditions.

On 30 September 2011, a group of Yamal fishermen discovered a young polar bear swimming across the Tadibe-Yakha river. Later on, they decided to transfer the animal to the Penza zoo in a special enclosure.

The bear was placed to the Moscow zoo for temporary residence, and moved to the Penza zoo in late November 2012.

The bear’s nickname was chosen in a public contest. The list of nicknames for the animal includes such entries as: Putin, Vasily, Marco Polo, Taras, Fedotiy, Abelix, Adam, Ivanhoe, Iceberg, Baloo, Bamby, Bestia, Vlastelin, Vrangel, Gavrila, Hercules, Yermak, Zhemchug, Korol, Ledenets, Lomonosov, Matros, Nalim, Polyarnik, Prince, Rafinad, Sakharok, Snezhok, Taymyr, Umka, Caesar, and Eskimos. After the contest, the bear was nicknamed Beliy (“White”).

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