Munich. A new home for Munichs polar bears: mayor Christine Strobl opened a new polar bear enclosure at the Tierpark Hellabrunn.
"It is the biggest polar bear enclosure in Europe, if not the entire world", says the mayor and she talked about a "world of adventures for polar bears". The terrain is not entirely finished, only a part of it could be viewed by the public. In the last weeks, the bears Giovanna and Yoghi came back to Munich from Berlin. "I have to admit, I would be happy if I would have been transferred from Berlin to Munich", says Strohl.
Many Berliners did not think the same way and tried to stop the relocation with a petition. Giovanna became friends with Knut, the visitor's favourite polar bear in Berlin. "Polar bears are not monogamous - they like each other sporadically", informed the zoo director of the Tierpark Hellabrunn, Andreas Knieriem.
The 3 year old Giovanna and the 10 year old Yoghi will have around 2,700 square metres of space to do whatever they like - maybe even mate. The female bear is soon sexually mature. According to Knieriem, the 5 million Euro enclosure has a whirl pool and a "mother-kid-area". On wednesday Yoghi was brave enough to explore the new home by smelling the walls and jumping into the water. The 2 polar bears will be separated while they get used to their new home.
The zoo in Berlin, who were looking after the two bears over the last year, sent greetings to Bavaria. "We wish our colleagues in Munich a lot of joy with the polar bears in their new enclosure and cross our fingers that there soon will be a new bear in the enclosure", informed the Zoologische Garten.