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Polar Bears Wrestle At Highland Wildlife Park (PICTURES)

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POLAR BEARS
Polar Bears go nose to nose | PA

Walker the polar bear got nose to nose with his new companion today as the pair had a playful wrestle in their shared enclosure.

Four-year-old Arktos is being gradually introduced to his younger counterpart at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, Kingussie, where staff say they are "getting on well".

The pair are the only two polar bears on show to the public in the UK.

Arktos arrived from Hanover Zoo in Germany on April 4 in the hope he would become a new playmate for three-year-old Walker.

Keepers at the park say young male polar bears tend to respond well to each other and it is hoped they will establish a relationship of "friendly competitiveness".

Arktos was housed next to Walker's enclosure and, after a short settling-in period, the two bears are being allowed to spend increasing amounts of time together in their five-acre enclosure.

Both have caught the scent of each other and Arktos is said to be getting familiar with the facility.

Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager at the Highland Wildlife Park, said: "We're delighted to have a second male polar bear join us in the Highlands.

"Great company for Walker, Arktos will provide companionship, greater enrichment and stimulation - which will enhance Walker's suitably complex lifestyle.

"The initial signs are good that both youngsters will get on well together, judging by their first encounters.

"Immature males do tend to react well to each other when they meet, but it will be a gradual series of introductions before Arktos moves in totally with Walker.

"Walker is a great bear who is full of fun and character, and it seems that Arktos is exactly the same.

"Introducing two 400kg (882lb) carnivores is of course a tad nerve-wracking, but so far it has all been rough play that would make a professional heavyweight wrestler proud."