Polar bear enclosure, Budapest Zoo (Bear Conservation – used with permission)
Location: Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
Address: H-1146 Budapest,
Állatkerti krt. 6-12 Hungary
Telephone: +36 1 273 4900
Exhibit: Polar bears are in the Little Rock (Kisszikla) area of the Zoo
Taiko (male). Born 24 November 2010 in Ouwehands Zoo, Rhenen, Netherlands. Arrived Budapest 9 November 2020.
Budapest 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.
- Proposal to commence captive breeding in the future.
- The area available for the bears is very small, with the land area mainly hard surfaced.
- 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 the enclosure (lintworm – Creative Commons Licence)
The video below of Belij and Serij (since transferred to Belgium in 2020) was published online in March 2017 and was filmed shortly after their arrival at the Zoo.