Highlands & Islands

Polar bear boosts Highland Wildlife Park's visitor numbers

Polar bear cub Hamish Image copyright RZSS
Image caption Polar bear cub Hamish has attracted record visitor numbers to the Highland Wildlife Park

The birth of the first polar bear cub in the UK in 25 years has led visitor numbers at a Scottish zoo to almost double.

Hamish, who will be a year old next week, shares an enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park with his mother, Victoria.

The park at Kincraig, near Aviemore, had its 200,000th visit of 2018 at the weekend.

The previous best year for visitor numbers was 2016 with 136,704 visits.

Last year, 122,538 people visited the park.

Head of operations and visitor services, Daska Mackintosh, said the new record figure was a "phenomenal milestone".

Image copyright RZSS/Siân Addison
Image caption The cub was born at the park in December last year

The park's cub, who first went on public show in March, was called Hamish after a public vote for a name.

There were more than 36,000 votes with more than 21,700 for Hamish. The other options were Poulsen, MacKinnon and Artor.

The cub's father, Arktos, is kept in another enclosure along with another adult male polar bear called Walker.

Image copyright RZSS
Image caption Hamish, who shares an enclosure with his mother, will have his first birthday marked next week

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