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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hats off the bear! Polar animal's splashing time with workman's hard hat ... his favourite new toy


Splosh: Walker was seen jumping into his pond after throwing the helmet with his teeth

This playful polar bear has found a new necessity for life - a workman's discarded hard hat.

Splashing around in a pool at his home in Inverness-shire, gentle giant Walker had the time of his life with the plaything.

Why? Because the 58-stone bear has finally found a toy that will stand up to his strength.

Plaything: Walker gets ready to hurl his hat into the water

Keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie had been struggling to find to find something to keep him amused at playtime.

A barrel and a traffic cone have already bitten the dust - but Walker appears to have met his match with his new hard hat.

Going in: The blue hat flies into the water as gentle giant Walker looks on

Animal collection manager Douglas Richardson said: 'Here at the Highland Wildlife Park we have developed a comprehensive and constantly evolving enrichment programme for Walker.

'A young male polar bear, Walker is packed with personality and is a playful and intensively curious animal, much like an overly large Alsatian puppy.

Mid-air: The bear grabs at his plaything just before he enters the water

Going after it: After jumping into the water, the giant makes a giant splash

'However, being the size he is and with the strength he has, we have to choose his toys carefully.

'Large, pliable plastic objects seem to be his favourite as they can be bitten and crushed.

New toy: Walker takes a bite out of his hard hat

Gentle giant: Walker is having a whale of a time in the water with his hat

'His play with large plastic barrels is particularly interesting as much of his time is spent bouncing on them with his fore-paws, which is exactly the same behaviour that wild polar bears use to break through the ice into seal dens.'

Walker, who recently had dental surgery for an abscess and tooth problem, bounced quickly back from his operations and was presented with his new selection of toys yesterday.

And don't worry, the workman is fine.

Going wild: Two-and-a-half year old Walker loves his new favourite toy

Taking a bite: Walker's new hat is hard enough to stand up to him at playtime

Making a splash: Walker chases after his new favourite toy at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie

source: dailymail


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