Home>News Center>Life

Polar bears at Singapore Zoo turn green
Updated: 2004-02-26 15:59

It's a wee bit early for St. Patrick's Day, but Singapore Zoo's two polar bears have turned green.

Polar bear Sheba's coat turned green as algae began to grow in her hair.
The usually white coats of Sheba and her 13-year-old son, Inuka, turned green a few weeks ago from algae growing in their hollow hair shafts, said Vincent Tan, a spokesman for the zoo.

"The harmless algae is the result of Singapore's warm and humid tropical conditions," Tan said.

Polar bears have clear hair shafts that appear white because they reflect light.

Sheba's coat was successfully bleached with hydrogen peroxide 2.5 weeks ago and Inuka will be given a similar treatment in three weeks, Tan said.

The zoo wanted to observe Sheba's reaction to the treatment before bleaching Inuka, he said.

For now, Inuka remains mottled with bright grass-colored splotches behind his ears, on his back and legs.

Three polar bears at the San Diego Zoo developed similarly green coats in 1979 but were cured with a salt solution, according to the Web site of Polar Bears International, a nonprofit conservation group based in North America.

  Today's Top News     Top Life News

China puzzled over US filing tax complaint at WTO



Chen, Annette Lu slightly wounded in shooting



Specific reform objectives set for banks



Bush urges allies to stick with united mission



Marriage bells toll in cyber churches



Chinese, French women hold dialogue


  China on show in song and story
  Girl, 14, becomes a mother
  Dazzling art works catch collectors' eyes
  Liver-transplant patient gives birth
  China final of Miss Universe to be held in "Spring City"
  Computer game cracked down on for discrediting China's image
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  HK pop star Edison Chen punched by youngsters