Hamish with his mother, Victoria. After a year of growth he's now estimated to be tipping the (salmon) scales at 120kg. Photo: RZSS Media

Salmon producer comes bearing gifts for birthday boy

Hamish, the first polar bear cub born in the UK for 25 years, turned one year old yesterday and was given a birthday treat of salmon from local farmer Wester Ross Fisheries.

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The bear is the product of the successful polar bear breeding program at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig near Kinguissie, and Wester Ross has been supplying local polar bears with fresh and smoked salmon for almost four years.

Wester Ross managing director Gilpin Bradley said: “The whole Wester Ross team has been charmed by the baby polar bear. 

“We are delighted to be able to contribute to such a special occasion with fresh Wester Ross salmon for his fish and veggie birthday cake. 

“It is fantastic that four out of four Scottish polar bears recommend Wester Ross salmon as one of their favourite treats.

“We all wish Hamish a very happy birthday! Highland Wildlife Park can count on us for more sustainable Scottish salmon in the future.”

Una Richardson, head carnivore keeper at Highland Wildlife Park, said staff had made Hamish a birthday cake from ice and fresh Wester Ross salmon.

“Our mischievous cub has grown so much since he took his first steps outside in March and is rapidly catching up to his mum, Victoria, although he still has some way to go until he reaches his full adult size, as male polar bears can weigh up to 800 kilograms,” she said.

At birth, polar bear cubs are estimated to weigh up to 700 grams. Hamish is currently estimated to weigh 120kg, around the same weight as an international rugby union prop forward.

View a video of the dramatic change Hamish has undergone in the first year of his life here