Will love blossom for Zoo’s Andean bear in Denmark?
ONE of Jersey Zoo’s Andean bears is leaving for a new home in Denmark on Tuesday, in the hope that he will ‘swipe right’ with a female mate who has been lined up for him there.
The three-year-old Raymi is to be transported to Givskud Zoo in southern Jutland, having been ‘carefully selected’, according to Jersey Zoo, in a match-making process conducted by the ‘studbook holder’ for Andean bears, who is the person ‘in charge of pairing animals for breeding’.
Durrell’s senior mammal keeper Leila Boyd, who has been one of Raymi’s keepers since he was born, said that, while he will be ‘hugely missed’ by staff in Jersey, his trip to Denmark represents ‘the next chapter of his life’ and will be a ‘great adventure’.
‘Raymi will be hugely missed by everyone at the Zoo,’ she said. ‘We’ve all watched him grow into the strong, independent bear he is today. He’s full of character and has certainly kept us busy these last few years with his adolescent bear antics.
‘As much as we will all miss him, he has a great adventure ahead of him and we look forward to updates from his new keepers at Givskud Zoo. Here’s hoping for the pitter-patter of tiny paws at Givskud in the near future.’
Raymi was born at Jersey Zoo in January 2016 to mother Bahia and father Quechua, who made local headlines the following year by exhibiting signs of what was at first thought to be ‘zoochosis’ – a form of unusual behaviour that can affect animals in captivity – but was later diagnosed as a restlessness to mate again with Bahia.
Raymi’s name, which means ‘celebration’ in the indigenous Andean language of Quechuan, was chosen by the Jersey public in celebration of the fact that he was the first Andean bear cub to be born at Jersey Zoo in more than 20 years.
He has become a favourite among the Zoo’s visitors due to his ‘playful and mischievous behaviour’, according to staff, who are encouraging members of the public to come and ‘say a final farewell before he leaves’.