Hertha was born in December 2018 at the Terpark Zoo in East Berlin and named after his local football club. Her mother, Tonya, was born in Moscow in 2009, but it appears that a mistake was made during the recording. The zoo revealed, Tuesday, that Herta’s father, Volody, who moved from Berlin to a Dutch zoo in 2019, has the same parents as Tonya.
“A huge mistake”
A biologist from the Moscow Zoo noted in the documents conflicting information about Tonya’s date of birth. Research has shown that there was intercourse with another female polar bear born around the same time. This genetic analysis has confirmed.
“This blunder is an unfortunate response to the delicate work that is being done in the European breeding program,” said Andreas Knirim, director of the Berlin Zoo. He noted that it was human error, and therefore did not blame the Russian Zoo for the “bear exchange”.
The discovery means that Tonya is no longer allowed to give birth to offspring. She and Hertha will remain in Berlin for the time being. According to experts, the origins of a young polar bear incest has no consequences for its health.
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