Polar bear kills female at Russian zoo after she rejects his attempt to mate with her in front of horrified zookeepers
- Aurora had moved 1,900 miles from Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, to Izhevsk, the Urals
- She was brought to Royev Ruchey zoo in Krasnoyarsk to meet giant male Baloo
- During two-week ‘courtship’ they played, basked in the sun, and swam together
- But the aggressive, fatal attack is believed to be the first of its kind in captivity
A mating date for two polar bears went badly wrong at a Russian zoo when the male suddenly killed the female as she rejected him as they were poised to copulate.
Aurora had been moved 1,900 miles from Krasnoyarsk in Siberia to Izhevsk in the Urals to be introduced to giant male Baloo.
Perhaps there was a clue of trouble ahead in their first meeting when a video shows how she inspected the male, before turning and walking in the opposite direction.
Pictured: Aurora, the female polar bear, arrives in Izhevsk, in the Urals, prior to meeting Baloo
Pictured: Aurora clambers around inside a rusty red-coloured cage after travelling 1,900 miles
Pictured: the large male polar bear Baloo, seen here floating in a pool of water eating a melon
Yet during a two-week ‘courtship’ they played, basked in the sun, and swam together, and it appeared Aurora was ‘receptive’.
Keepers watched and waited for the key moment – but it ended in tragedy.
Head of Royev Ruchey zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Andrey Gorban, said: ‘At the very moment he mounted her, something went wrong.
‘Aurora showed her character, and Baloo was furious.’
The aggressive attack is believed to be the first of its kind in captivity.
Pictured: the female bear Aurora seen here laying down on the blue ice at Royev Ruchey zoo
First meeting: the large male Baloo strolls over to greet Aurora who is laying out in the cool air
The next moment, the pair are nose-to-nose, inspecting one another at the Royev Ruchey zoo
Zoo staff threw water and shot a sedative at Baloo but it was too late.
In seconds he had savaged and killed the smaller female.
‘He fell near Aurora but she was already dead,’ he said.
‘Everything happens in nature, but in zoos this is the first case, and we will carefully study what happened, both for ourselves and for science,’ said Gorban.
‘I haven’t studied it thoroughly so far, but world-class specialists cannot remember such cases in zoos.
‘It was a completely unexpected outbreak of aggression.’
A male could kill a female for food but ‘not during estrus’ – the period of sexual receptivity and fertility in female polar bears.
Pictured: Aurora the female bear, seen here floating in the water playing with a large red cube
Aurora the bear, with a full thick white coat, is seen in this picture eating a juicy watermelon
He told zoo visitors on social media: ‘It is unbearably hard to report this tragic news.
‘Our Aurora is gone.
‘Just the day before yesterday we were happy that our white giants found each other, loved each other.
‘We were hoping to see the offspring.
‘Spacious enclosures for little cubs were already being built in (our zoo).
‘But the sudden conflict crushed our hopes…. only emptiness is left.’
A statement from Izhevsk Zoo said: ‘The reason for the conflict between two recently completely peacefully coexisting polar bears Aurora and Baloo remains a mystery.’