First polar bear cub born in UK in 25 years an 'outstanding achievement'

It's taken 25 years, but another polar bear cub was finally born in the United Kingdom, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced Wednesday.

The cub was born at Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland to the mother, Victoria, who arrived there in 2015 and mated with one of the park’s two males. Victoria’s den is closed to the public and has no camera because privacy is essential for the cub’s survival, the society said in a statement. The birth, which the society called an "outstanding achievement," was confirmed through recorded audio.

“We first heard promising noises in the week before Christmas and these have now continued into the new year,” Una Richardson, the park’s head keeper responsible for carnivores, said in a statement.

Newborn polar bears are blind and weigh slightly more than a guinea pig. The group has not captured any photos of the cub, and suggested more than one cub could have been born. 

“Our polar bears are part of the European Endangered Species Programme, and we hope Victoria’s offspring will survive to reinforce the captive population," Barbara Smith, the society's chief executive, said in a statement. 

The last polar bear cubs born in the UK were twins at Flamingo Land, a Yorkshire theme park, in December 1992.

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