Bears

European Brown Bear - Hayley

Syrian Brown Bear - Fudge

European brown bears and Syrian brown bears are both subspecies of, you've guessed it, the brown bear! Fudge is actually the oldest resident of the Zoo, and, we believe, the oldest Syrian brown bear in the world! 

As is normal with her species, Fudge is quite a bit smaller than Hayley, and Hayley does like to mother Fudge. Fudge's fur is also a lot lighter, being more straw coloured than the darker more chocolatey brown of Hayley. Fudge also has been trained to put her paws up so that she can have her claws trimmed. Her claws grow extremely fast, and due to her age she doesn't wear them down  like she did when she was young, and so she requires a trim when they get too long. She really loves having this done, especially because she gets tasty treats as part of her training (as does Hayley so she doesn't get left out!).

Syrian brown bears are considered vulnerable, this is due to a decrease in numbers thanks to habitat loss and poaching. Sadly they are targets for big game hunters who see them as trophies. They are also in demand from the traditional Chinese medicine market as they use bear bile as a remedy for rheumatism, poor eyesight and gall stones. They have recently been declared extinct in Lebanon, Israel and Syria.

European brown bears are not classified on their own, coming under the heading of brown bear when numbers are reviewed. They are classified as Least Concern although their numbers are declining. Brown bears used to be common in UK and Ireland but are now extinct here. A fully grown male can weigh up to 300kg, with a female tending to be no more than 250kg.