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Green Polar Bears in Singapore

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According to BBC News, a perplexing sight awaits visitors to the polar bear enclosure at Singapore zoo. Two of the bears have started to turn green.

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Just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Though I dunno how many people celebrate it in Singapore...

Sheesh! First purple polar bears, now green... All we need now are some gold polar bears and we'll be ready for Mardi Gras!

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This is not an uncommon occurance with Polar Bears in captivity.

The fur on a polar bear consists of translucent hollow hairs that when broken (like split ends) can hold some amount of water. Algae, which grows in fresh water pools but not in Salt-water, will also grow inside the hairs of a Polar Bear's fur.

The solution is simple: salt the water, or allow the polar bears to swim once a day in a salt water pool in addition to the fresh water pool of their enclosure.

The San Diego Zoo had this problem several years ago. It hasn't happened since, because they are very well trained in the care of polar bears in captivity, and endeavor to spread their knowledge of experience to other zoos.

The singapore zoo should be ashamed of themself since the solution is so easy. I can only guess that they are either ignorant or they are causing the bears to suffer from the zoo's budget woes.

--Darrel.

ConFurence will again be at the Burbank Hilton, April 25-27, 2003.  Visit http://confurence.net for more details on this and other events being hosted by The ConFurence Group.

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