Image: © ZSL

European Brown Bears Have Fun in the Sun at Whipsnade Zoo


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


July 19, 2023 9:07 pm


London, The United Kingdom

Four European brown bears have enjoyed some fun in the sun at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The fabulous foursome were seen galloping around their woodland home before they enjoyed a dip in the pool as seen in images shared by conservation organisation, ZSL.

The four bears known as Naya, Cinderella, Mana and Minnie are among 11,000 animals housed at the conservation zoo.

Zookeeper Sarah McGregor, who caught the happy scene on camera on Tuesday 18 July, said all four girls have large, padded paws which equip them for running, swimming, and climbing, all of which they were spotted enjoying this week.  

“Two-year-old Naya was dashing through the woods, while sisters Mana and Minnie, who are a year older, were rolling around in the thick grass. At first seven-year-old Cinderella was busy tucking into some healthy veggies, but it wasn’t long before she joined in, splashing around in the pond to cool off.”


Sarah added that many European brown bears are at risk of extinction in the wild. “Brown bears used to be widespread across Europe, but over the centuries populations across western and central Europe have been driven to extinction due to human-wildlife conflict and loss of habitat.”  

ZSL's Institute of Zoology partnered with Birdlife International and the European Bird Census Council on a 2022 report which found that while European species may be in decline they can make a comeback if given an opportunity. The report concluded that better legal protections, enlarging protected areas, rewilding and dedicated species recovery work were some of the most effective ways to protect species and aid their recovery in Europe.

Sarah added: “ZSL, the international conservation charity behind Whipsnade Zoo, is restoring ecosystems and protecting species all over the world – meanwhile, Naya, Cinderella, Mana and Minnie help us educate visitors about these threats facing not only bears, but thousands of other animals in the wild.”

European Brown Bears Fun in the Sun at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Image: © ZSL

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More on the Brown Bear!

Found across North America, Europe and Asia learn more about the brown bear with our fact file.

Our Favourite Brown Bear Fact!

14 subspecies of brown bear are recognized worldwide such as the grizzly bear of North America. The largest subspecies is the Kodiak bear from North America while the smallest is the European brown bear from Europe.

Image: © ZSL

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