I was so blessed to see the twin male polar bears, Hudson and Nelson in action at Sea World’s Polar Bear Shores. It’s Australia’s only exhibit where you can see the world’s largest land carnivore up close, and when I say “up-close”, I mean… only inches of glass separating us – UP CLOSE! I got to observe the polar bear’s awe-inspiring physical features, playful behaviours and surprisingly graceful underwater swimming through Polar Bear Shores‘ large underwater viewing windows.
The main pool is up to four metres deep to accommodate the polar bears deep diving. Check out my video to see the male polar bears take giant leaps into the clear water and make the most of the naturalistic environment which is set to replicate the Arctic Summer. It aims to constantly stimulate the polar bears with a cascading waterfall and winding creek, an array of climbing outcrops, fallen trees and a strategically placed rock platform enabling long distance viewing across the exhibit and beyond.
There's so many to choose from but it's definitely one of my favourite Sea World exhibits!
Afterall it's hard to go past a giant polar bear and not be impressed! I was just so fortunate to be there at the right time and capture not just a few minutes but more than half-an-hour of action.
Polar Bear Shores is not only home to Hudson and Nelson, but also Liya, a female polar bear who recently gave birth to the newly named female cub, MISHKA!
The public was asked to vote on a name — either Mishka, Nukka, Arina or Katya — and Mishka came out on top! The name is Inuit and Russian for ‘little bear’, a nod to mum Liya who is Russian, and dad, who's Canadian.
The now three-month old cub is progressing well and is expected to make her first appearance on the Polar Bear Preschool exhibit coming weeks, under the watchful eye of mum, Liya.
It was amazing to watch the 13-year-old twins Hudson and Nelson in action and provide an insight into this massive marine mammal’s capabilities. I can’t wait to see newborn Mishka and learn more about what’s life like for a cub.
You can learn all about these amazing creatures by watching my video filled with interesting facts as well as through detailed information boards at Sea World’s Polar Bear Shores enclosure. This truly unique educational experience assists the conservation of the species through raising public awareness about the majestic beauty of these and animals and sadly their declining numbers.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, polar bears are vulnerable; their numbers are declining, and their habitat — sea ice — is shrinking. It is believed that there are only 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears living in the wild.
The IUCN reports that the polar ice cap is predicted to completely melt within the next 100 years. This will leave polar bears without a home and will affect the polar bear population greatly.
Polar bears are listed on the U.S. Endangered Species List as threatened. They are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
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Helpful Links & Fact Sources
Thank you to Sea World and the following organisations for your informative details and efforts to raise public awareness about these majestic mammals cause.
For those who simply want the highlights along with the fun facts, check out this one here.
For those who are in awe of these magnificent creatures and just can't get enough of them, I recommend watching the extended version of my Polar Bear Shores videos, which includes highlights from Cub TV.