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FIRST footage of UK’s new polar bear cub swimming

ADORABLE footage shows the UK’s only polar bear cub swimming with its mother for the first time.

The keepers said it was a ‘heart pounding moment’ yesterday afternoon, as the cub, the first born in the UK for 25 years, had never gone so close to the pond before.

The cub, who is still unnamed, can be seen doing a leap into the pond following his mother, Victoria, who ‘goaded’ her into swimming with her and helped her stay afloat.

At first, it flaps around a little and can be seen ducking under its mother’s head, being sure to stay close.

The cub then follows the mother bear in doing an unsteady lap around the pond as onlookers can be heard cooing over the pair.

Staff at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in the Scottish Highlands, are yet to determine the sex of the cub.

On Monday the park posted footage of the cub on their Twitter investigating a paddling pool they had placed outside their den.

Sophie Di Sotto, 24, from Elgin, Moray, captured the footage yesterday afternoon. She said: “I spoke to the keepers after the cub got out.

“They said it was a heart pounding moment because it had never gone so close to the pond. Their radio was going nuts with them talking about it and it felt like they all raced up to see it.

Sophie Di Sotto took the footage at the park.

The Administrator for a social care charity visited the park with her mum to see the bear before the easter holidays.

She said: “We went up twice to the exhibit because they were in their den when we first went up and the keeper there said to come back at 3pm when she gets fed and we might catch a glimpse.

“So we went back at 3pm and they did the feed and it was amazing to see how she doted on the cub. When she started moving towards the water i thought the cub was gonna just sit at the side which it did at first but then Victoria went over and helped it in.

Sophie Di Sotto and her mother who were at the park when the cub took its first dip.

“It was amazing to see how gentle she was and how she goaded it into swimming with her. It grabbed her tail to help it stay afloat.

“It really was a heart stopping moment. But Victoria never left it’s side and helped it out the water as well. Really good mum.”

She posted the footage on Facebook yesterday, where it has been liked over 1000 times.

Susan Hartley wrote: “Absolutely wonderful, thank you so much for sharing.”

Michelle Queen wrote: “Wow, thanks so much for video, can’t wait to go and see baby.”

Heidi Spencer wrote: “What a fantastic thing to witness. Great video.”

Victoria gave birth to the cub sometime in mid-December. Her enclosure re-opened on the last Wednesday (21 Mar) so members of the public now have the opportunity to visit the cub at the park.

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