Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirlingshire safari park bear gets dung for birthday

Loki the bear
Image caption Loki the bear celebrated his first birthday with elephant dung, fruit and cake

A bear cub at a Stirlingshire Safari park has celebrated his first birthday with elephant dung, fruit and cake.

Loki, the European brown bear, was treated to a fruit cake decorated with dog biscuits at Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Staff also gave the bear boxes filled with his favourite enrichment materials - wood shavings, elephant dung, balls and old tyres

The one-year-old was born in the park last year.

Loki's head keeper Vicky Kydd said: "We filled big cardboard boxes with lots of his favourite enrichment materials and treat bits which included pine wood shavings, elephant dung, balls and old tyres.

"The bears love rolling around in the dung and the wood shavings and it helps them to groom and maintain their coats, particularly over winter.

"We also filled enrichment balls with his favourite treats and Loki had a great time opening his presents."

Jealous mother

Loki was helped to explore his presents by his eight-year-old mother Nellie.

Ms Kydd said: "I think Nellie was a little bit jealous because they are her favourite treats as well so she was right in there helping Loki open the boxes and I think she stole a few of the presents."

Loki was named after the Norse god of mischief and weighed just 1kg when born last year.

He now weighs around 100kg and can continue to grow to as heavy as 450kg, about 70 stone, and live for about 30 years.

His father, Bull, moved to Olmense Zoo in Belgium earlier this year, as the bears only come together for breeding and the male plays no part in raising cubs.

Hibernation time

Blair Drummond manager Gary Gilmour said the feast of treats will help the bears as they prepare to hibernate.

"Although the bears are less active now and are eating less food, both Loki and mum Nellie made short work of the cake.

"Honey, nuts and dog biscuit cake is a really good treat but is also good for healthy growth, producing a nice thick winter coat and winter fat storage.

"Loki will run off any excess fat in the spring. He is so playful and an absolute joy to watch in his enclosure."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites