The fur of the polar bears at Japan’s Higaghiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens has turned green. Visitors to the zoo are shocked this weekend to see the emerald coats on the normally white arctic bears, and have voiced concerns as to the health of the animals.
In fact the green hue is due to higher than average summer temperatures resulting in unusually aggressive algae growth. It is this algae in the water that has become lodged in hollow spaces of the polar bears’ fur. In addition to help conserve water, the zoo has been doing less frequent water changes.
Zoo official, Masami Kurobe is assured that “the bears are expected to return to their natural color when the algae growth subsides in November.” There have been a couple of other reports of green polar bears in captivity in San Diego in 1979 and more recently in Singapore in 2004.