Polar bear enclosure, Budapest Zoo

Facility

Location: Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden

Address: H-1146 Budapest,
Állatkerti krt. 6-12 Hungary

Telephone: +36 1 273 4900

Email: info@zoobudapest.com

Website: https://www.zoobudapest.com/en

Exhibit: Polar bears are in the Little Rock (Kisszikla) area of the Zoo

Bears

Belij (male). Born 28 November 2015, Izhevsk, Russia. Arrived Budapest 16 March 2017.

Serij (male). Born 22 November 2015, Izhevsk, Russia. Arrived Budapest 16 March 2017.

Details

Bdapest Zoo is over 150 years old and is one of the oldest zoos in the world.  The polar bear enclosure was built in 1912 and in 2006 work was undertaken to modernise the facility.  The floor space was tripled and a new 350 cubic metre pool added.  The new pool incorporates an underwater viewing area where the bears are separated from the public by a 55mm thick glass viewing wall.  The old 18 cublic metre pool was filled in with soil to provide the bears with a digging area. 

Overall the enclosure lacks enrichment features for the two bears.

The enclosure is dominated by the pool area with comparatively little dry land space available.  Other than the digging area the surface of the land area is concrete.

We understand that there are tentative plans to further extend the facility to accommodate breeding females when the present male bears reach sexual maturity.  This would be around 2023.

Concerns

  1. Proposal to commence captive breeding in the future, which would probably involve splitting the two bears up by moving on of the brothers to another zoo.
  2. The area available to the two bears is very small, with the land area is mainly hard surfaced.
  3. Poor enrichment facilities.

At present we have no information on the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes at the Budapest Zoo

Taken in 2018 this photograph of Belij & Serij gives an indication of the unsuitability of their enclosure (lintworm – Creative Commons Licence)

The video below of Belij and Serij was published online in March 2017 and was filmed shortly after their arrival at the Zoo.

Return to Captive Polar Bear Directory

Page updated 02 April 2020