Happy 40th Birthday, Olga!

Olga, the female brown bear, wakes up from her winter sleep and is warmly congratulated on her 40th birthday by Hellabrunn Zoo. To celebrate the occasion, the keepers prepared a birthday cake which was presented to the birthday girl on Friday, 10 March 2017.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Fit and well rested, Olga emerges from her cave for the first time since awakening from her winter sleep. Delighted with the glorious pre-spring weather, she gazes with curiosity at the birthday present she finds in her enclosure: a delicious ice cake filled with various fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers and apples. "It's a type of diet ice cake that is given to her after her winter sleep, because her body must first adjust to eating food again," says department manager Anja Waldinger.

European brown bears are loners and are most active during the day. They hibernate over winter to conserve energy during a period in which food is scarce. Although the brown bear became extinct in the wild in Germany, there is always a possibility that bears from other European countries may wander across the Alps into Germany as shown in the case of the bear Bruno in 2006.

Despite her age, Olga is a very happy bear who takes pleasure in roaming among the flowers in her enclosure. She also has a voracious appetite and in the past loved fishing trout from her moat. Olga was born in Russia in the winter of 1976-77 and emerged from the mothering den with her mother for the first time in spring 1977. She arrived at Hellabrunn Zoo in the autumn of the same year, where she has lived since. Having reached the age of forty, Olga is not only a record holder, but also a phenomenon among brown bears. She will spend her remaining twilight years in her cubhood enclosure at Hellabrunn.

After that, the site will be converted to accommodate the new lion enclosure. For further information, please visit the Info Pavilion opposite the Elephant House.