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Hasn’t she grown! Shilka prepares to leave Siberia

By Derek Lambie
15 November 2014

First polar bear born at zoo in 40 years separated from heartbroken mother as she gets set for new solo life.

Born at Novosibirsk Zoo in December last year the cub became a worldwide star after melting the hearts of animal lovers in a series of cute pictures as she cuddled into her mother, Gerda. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

The first polar bear born in a Siberian zoo for 40 years is preparing to flee the nest and move to the other side of the world.

Just 11 months old, but already standing at 1.3 metres tall, Shilka has been deemed old enough to leave Russia behind for a new solo life in Brazil or Japan.

Born at Novosibirsk Zoo in December last year the cub became a worldwide star after melting the hearts of animal lovers in a series of cute pictures as she cuddled into her mother, Gerda.

Shilka grown up


Shilka grown up


Shilka grown up

Just 11 months old, but already standing at 1.3 metres tall, Shilka has been deemed old enough to leave Russia behind. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

And as she prepares to mark her first birthday alone in a new country next month, Shilka has already been moved from her mother’s side.

But the separation is already having an impact on heartbroken Gerda, who is clearly missing her cub and is walking around her pen looking for her.

Shilka’s father was sent to another enclosure after the birth last year, as keepers were not sure how he would behave with the cub, but he will be reunited with Gerda in February. It is hoped they will mate again in the spring and produce another baby.

Back in April, we introduced you to Gerda tenderly cradling her three month old cub in magical pictures from Novosibirsk Zoo. 


Relax, you are in Siberia


Relax, you are in Siberia


Relax, you are in Siberia


Relax, you are in Siberia


Relax, you are in Siberia


Relax, you are in Siberia



Relax, you are in Siberia

'You look at them and feel that these are the most perfect mother and daughter relations you have even seen'. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Last year after capturing the amazing images of the little cub for the Siberian Times, Novosibirsk photographer Vera Salnitskaya said: 'It is almost impossible to watch them together because it is so pure a love, the kind you can only dream about. You look at them and just feel that these are the most perfect mother and daughter relations you have ever seen.'

Comments (15)

Let the poor babys with there mother....
Evelyn Ovington, Wiesbaden, Germany
13/12/2014 16:30
1
0
SHAMEFUL - why don't you sell YOUR children to them instead ?
Robin Of The West, USA
13/12/2014 09:11
1
0
So ashamed to be part of the human race! I sincerely hope that we humans will be the first to get extinted so that animals will finally be able to live the life they are supposed to be living!!!!
Saskia Schoukens, Sosua, Dominican Republic
13/12/2014 05:29
1
0
This bear should stay where she was born... and close to her MOM. PLease have some ''humanity'' in you... I hate Zoos.
Louise G. Brunet, Canada
13/12/2014 04:34
1
0
WHY - Brazil or Japan Is NOT ITS NATURAL HABITAT AND WILL ONLY SUFFER LIKE THE OTHER POLAR BEAR UNSUITABLE CONDITIONS. AFTER WAITING FOR 40 year to have this precious animal born in captivity is a treasure in itself - let it keep company with its family - leave her where she is, PLEASE!!!
D GAULDIE, Gauteng South Africa
13/12/2014 04:12
0
0
11 months is much too young to be separated from the mother. Let them stay together. Think about the bears well being. Delay the separation until the right time.
malou schipper, the Netherlands
13/12/2014 04:04
0
0
Absolutely disgusting shame on those involved in this heartbreaking story of separation & exploitation, a typical example of captivity & how the only thing that matters is money. No sence of ethics/compassion or attachment of any kind. Shame on you all.. I hope this poor cub is not going to Mendoza or china or Japan where they have no sense of right or wrong where our fellow species are concerned !!
Michelle , Melbourne
30/11/2014 08:30
3
0
This is so wrong on so many levels. Polar bears, when their young, need to be with their mothers, They themselves will decide when it's time, to go it alone and mate. It's not natural to take a baby from its Mother.
Audrey D., Canada
29/11/2014 19:58
3
0
It's all about the money and no one cares how Shulka or her mother feel. We use animals because we are greedy for profit and we don't care that Shulka will have to live in hot summer temperatures in unacceptable conditions. Mendoza Zoo does not cares about Arturo dying in Argentina as long as he brings in the pesos, and so the zoo in Brazil or Japan will act as if nothing is wrong while the money is coming in. This is disgusting abuse of animals.
Irene Chernenko, Russia
29/11/2014 19:49
3
0
Why do this to a mother and daughter? Let them live in love and peace together. Have compassion Siberia! Russia does not need the money! Show compassion. Why are you separating Silka from her mother? Both will are heart broken! Silka will to spend a life of misery, alone and desperate, have mercy! PLEASE!!!
Mina Sedgman, Australia
29/11/2014 09:54
2
0
President Putin Please show compassion for this extraordinary species and do not sentence this Polar Bear to misery and an early death by sending him to a climate that will make his every living day a hell on Earth. Keep these precious creatures in your country where, if treated well, will thrive and multiply, and attract income from tourism.
Sandra Wilentz, Northport New York
29/11/2014 08:36
3
0
PLS don't separate baby from mother...they need each other! It's completly heartbreaking!!! Why destroy what's already perfect? Keep them together PLS!!! For Love's sake!
Claire, Granby, Canada
29/11/2014 08:31
3
0
Don't separate a baby from her mother...they need each other! This is heartless and inhumane! Heartbreaking!!! Why do people always destroy what is perfectly fine to begin with..Let them be together for once don't destroy Life and break hearts and kill the Love that's growing there, you heartless fools!!! Monsters!!!
Claire, Granby, Canada
29/11/2014 08:27
3
0
Welcome to Siberia News http://siberianews.ru
sibiryak, Siberia
19/11/2014 13:08
2
1
Why do they take the bear from the mother, such BS! I hate zoos.
Austin, OH/USA
18/11/2014 20:08
5
3
1

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