Prague Zoo, February 2008 (Becky Dale)
Location: Prague Zoo
Address: U Trojského zámku 120/3, 171 00 Praha 7, Czechia
Telephone: +42( 0) 296 112 230 (public relations department)
Berta (female). Born in captivity in Prague Zoo on 2 December 2003.
Tom (male). Born in captivity in Brno Zoo, Czechia on 23 November 2007. Arrived at Prague Zoo 14 February 2009.
Name (sex). Born, arrived, etc.
Prague Zoo was opened in 1931 and covers a total area of 58 hectares (140 acres).
The polar bear exhibit consists of two enclosures separated by a gated passage. There is a pool for swimming and running water over artificial rapids.
The bears usually have free access to and from the off exhibit areas. These areas include common areas and also individual stalls for each bear.
The bears are fed once a day and their diet includes mackerels or herrings; salmon, beef and fish oil. During hot weather they will be fed ice cubes containing frozen fish, carrots and apples. In 2015 the main enclosure has been provided with an ice maker which is used to make simulated snow. A number “toys” are provided for enrichment, for example car tyres, balls and traffic cones.
The bears appear to be content and well cared for, although possibly a little thin; however see “Concerns” below. This exhibit is almost 90 years old and it shows.
- The exhibit area is far too small and is outdated and falls far below modern standards. In 2016 the zoo announced plans to develop a new area “Artikada” which would house the polar bears. They announced a design competition with a possible opening date of 2019 or 2020. As yet (November 2020) there are no signs of work beginning. We would suggest that this work is urgently required if the zoo is to continue keeping polar bears.
- Possible breeding attempts.
Other than the information above we have no details of the zoos feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes for the bears.
The video below, filmed in February 2018, gives some idea of the stream and pool area of the badly outdated exhibit.
Video courtesy of Becky Dale.