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Polar bears soon to arrive in Vienna

First polar bear residents for new Zoo enclosure

The first two residents of the new polar bear enclosure at Schoenbrunn Zoo due to open this May have been announced.

Two polar bears - a male called Ranzo and a female called Lynn - from zoos in Finland and the Netherlands respectively will be joining the thousands of animals at the popular tourist attraction in Vienna.

The new polar bear world due to be opened this summer is called "Franz Josef Land" and at 1700-square-foot the enclosure will be three times as large as the old one.

Ranzo and Lynn are both two years old and cousins and will be joined later in the Autumn by a second male bear.

The zoo's plan is to have several young bears grow up in Vienna with the hope that they can then later be swapped with other zoos as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

Ranzo is a minor animal celebrity in Finland where 30,000 people helped to choose his name.

"Ranzo is close to the Finn's heart's which is why we are pleased that we will offer him a great home that provides a varied landscape and swimming and diving pool," said Austrian zoo director Dagmar Schratter who was thrilled with the exchange.

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