Polar bear

Polar Bear Zoo Rostock Illustration
  • Relatives: carnivorans → bears
  • Habitat: islands, seacoasts and fields of drift ice in the circumpolar Arctic Ocean
  • Diet: primarily seals; at the zoo: meat, fish and fruit
  • Way of life: solitary animal, tireless swimmer, diver and runner
  • Reproduction: gestation period with 8-month embryonic dormancy, 1 to 3 extremely sensitive offspring
Polar bear habitat

Polar bears have their home on the pack ice and drift ice areas in the Arctic region – and any animal which lives in eternal ice needs a thick coat. Their hair insulates so well that it cannot even be spotted with an infrared camera. A well-ordered layer of fat keeps them warm during the seal hunt underwater. Thanks to their webbed paws, the white hunters reach a speed of up to 10 km/h, and are generally good and tireless swimmers and divers. The hairy soles of the polar bears protect them against sliding on land.
Polar bears switch to “energy-saving mode” in case of food shortage and during time of birth. Then they sleep a lot, draw on their fat reserves and thus save energy. The tiny cubs are born in snow caves. At birth they are about as large as a guinea pig. With a fat content of 33 percent, the milk of their mother is very substantial, which is why the bear cubs grow very fast. The young animals stay with their mother for two years before the solitary animals go on travels alone. The mother raises the offspring alone.

Unique insights into the world of polar bears at the Polarium
At the Polarium you will encounter our polar bears in a very special way. Separated only by a window, Akiak, Noria and Sizzel appear within reach when they swim through the water or dive. Numerous insights enable you to observe the animals while they roam the tundra. The species-appropriate compounds of our polar bears, which are oriented towards Hudson Bay in terms of design, offer the animals lots of space and variety with about 3,600 square metres, and provide our visitors very special insights into the life of these wonderful animals. Akiak is a veritable giant. In terms of stature the young polar bear with roots in Rostock is strongly reminiscent of his grandfather Churchill, who was born in 1979 in Rostock. Akiak’s father Victor was also born in Rostock. Akiak was born on 22 November 2014 at Rhenen Zoo in the Netherlands. Female polar bear Noria comes from Brno in the Czech republic, where she came into the world on 21 November 2015. Her playmate Sizzel, who is regarded as a curious and relaxed polar bear lady, was born on 2 December 2014 at Rotterdam Zoo, where she lived together with her twin brother Todz until her relocation to Rostock.

Representatives of an endangered species
Akiak, Noria and Sizzel are ambassadors for their endangered fellow species. They are perfectly adapted to life in the icy Arctic. Their thick coat protects the animals against the cold, but not against the melting of their habitat. In the past 20 years, the extent of sea ice has shrunk by more than three times the area of Germany. The species conservation organisation Polar Bears International (PBI), which the Rostock Zoo supports, is committed to the protection of polar bears and their shrinking habitat. They examine the habits and endangerment (or threats) of the animals and want to encourage people to advocate for the polar bears. We very gladly associate with this objective. The extensive exhibition in the Ice Worlds at the Polarium is also dedicated to polar bears and their endangered habitat. Here you will learn everything about the world’s largest land carnivore.

You can experience these and many other animals at Rostock Zoo, home to 4,500 animals in 450 different species from all over the world.