Happy birthday, Inuka
THE Singapore Zoo's polar bear Inuka turns 25 on Dec 26 and to kick off a 10-day celebration, a photo exhibition about the polar bears' arctic habitat was launched yesterday.
The exhibition, called Our Arctic Future, highlights the threat that climate change poses to Arctic ecosystems and polar bears.
It was developed by the Natural History Museum of Denmark and governments of Greenland and Faroe Islands for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Danish Ambassador to Singapore Berit Basse opened the exhibition in the zoo's Frozen Tundra zone, where Inuka lives. At the launch, the Singapore-born Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was given a birthday "cake" made of ice blocks, whipped cream and fruit.
Polar bears in captivity, like Inuka, live an average of 25 years. But with proper care, captive polar bears can live much longer. Inuka's mother Sheba, for example, died in 2013 at the age of 35.
Inuka's last health check in July found age-related conditions like arthritis and dental issues which the zoo's veterinary team are monitoring closely.
Inuka weighs 581kg and is 2.5m from nose to tail.
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) supported Inuka's upkeep from its birth until 2007 when the SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over.
Over the next 10 days, zoo visitors can catch Inuka enjoying birthday treats at 1.20pm daily. The photo exhibition will be on until Jan 16.