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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Polar-oid Bear

Swap that icy stare for a smile? Only if you've got a Polar-oid

Don’t be put off by the icy stare and fearsome claws.

This 40st polar bear actually gets along swimmingly with visitors who join her in the water at the Polar Bear Plunge.

Of course, eight-year-old Tatqiq’s friendly disposition is helped in no small part by a glass wall which lets her keep guests at a paw’s length.

Grin and bear it: Tatqiq is able to get close up to spectators thanks to a flexible screen

Although the flexible screen gives slightly when pressed, it’s strong enough to withstand the force of a typical male polar bear – such as Tatqiq’s brother Kalluk, who weighs more than 70st.

The pair are part of an exhibit at San Diego Zoo which allows guests to see the bears up close while learning about how melting ice caps are affecting their species.

Splash down: Cameras also captured the 500lb bear's spectacular dives into the pool

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