Russian polar bears Aurora and Peregrino are the new kids on the block at Sao Paulo’s Aquarium, on display to the public from Thursday (April 16) as the (first and) only members of their species in the country.
The four and five-year-old bears, which together weigh 750 kilogrammes, will be kept in a specially climatised area set between -15 and -5°C (-59 and -49°F), measuring 1,500 square metres.
Until last December, the pair lived together in a zoo in the Russian city of Kazan, but according to specialists, the space available to them was insufficient to allow adequate development.
The negotiation for their transfer lasted two years and cost 22,000 U.S. dollars. Afterwards, the bears went through a 15-hour flight and four month acclimatization in Brazil before stepping out in front of the public.
Sao Paulo’s aquarium is the largest in Latin America, visited by some 30,000 people a year and housing over 3000 animals of 300 species.