Overview of polar bear enclosure at Pairi Daiza, 2020 (© Pairi Daiza)
Location: Pairi Daiza
Address: Domaine de Cambron, 7940 Brugelette, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0) 68 250 850
Exhibit: The Land of the Cold
Belij (male). Born 28 November 2015, Izhevsk, Russia. Arrived Pairi Daiza 6 June 2020.
Serij (male). Born 22 November 2015, Izhevsk, Russia. Arrived Pairi Daiza November 2020 (transfer not confirmed by zoo as at 28 December 2020).
Nuka (female). Born 26 November 2016, Aalborg, Denmark. Arrived Pairi Daiza 12 March 2020.
Quilak (female). Born 26 November 2016, Aalborg, Denmark. Arrived Pairi Daiza 12 March 2020.
This new exhibit opened in early 2020. The polar bear enclosure has 5,000m² (1.2 acres) of outdoor space and two water basins of 450m² and 220m² filled with filtered, non-chlorinated, chilled sea water. The water temperature is not allowed to rise above 17°C. Walruses also have access to the water and are separated from the polar bears by glass.
Pairi Daiza have said that there is 170 m² of interior space for the bears with a maternity “quiet” area with infra-red cctv cameras. Treatment areas are slightly refrigerated, equipped with swimming pools and lit by natural light.
Outside there are four separate “territories” which feature freshwater basins, rivers and waterfalls. An “ice cave” of 65 m² includes various enrichment features for the bears and is maintained at sub-zero temperatures.
There are various substrates including soil, grasses, pebbles, rocks, wood chips and sand. There are also various plantings including trees and tree trunks which provide shade and some enrichment.
The enclosure includes a suite where guests can stay overnight. There is a large underwater viewing window that looks directly into the polar bear enclosure.
The bears have free access to all four territories. Originally it was expected that the bears would becoming from Sea World in Australia. Ultimately they came from Denmark (twin females) and Hungary (two males). See above for more information on the bears.
There is opposition to the housing of polar bears in Brugelette. See Polar bear protest at Pairi Daiza: ‘These animals have no place in Belgium’ (opens in new window).
- Highly likely to be a captive breeding programme
- The area available (1.2 acres) falls far short of the minimum recommended by Bear Conservation for one bear, let alone four.
As yet we have no details of the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes for the bears.
Page updated 28 December 2020