In the Little Zoo, opened on 25 August 1939 in Tallinn, polar bears were represented. They came from Hagenbeck’s menagerie in Germany.
Just after the end of World War II there were no polar bears at Tallinn Zoo.
In 1964 polar bear cubs Kuubi and Kara captured in the wild arrived in Tallinn.
In 1983 Kuubi and Kara were transferred to the new location of the zoo at Veskimetsa.
Kuubi died in 1986, Kara lived until 1997 when she died aged 34.
In 1987, 2.5-year-old Uaidi born at Kazan Zoo was brought to Tallinn. Here she was named Vaida.
In 1988 Tallinn Zoo and Moscow Zoo made a joint expedition to Graham Bell Island in Franz Josef Land from where two polar bear cubs, Franz and Joosep, were brought to Tallinn.
Joosep died from a malignant tumour in 1991.
Franz and Vaida had four cubs: Jasper (b. 1995), Marta (b. 1996), Mart (b. 1998) and Friida (b. 2002).
Jasper has been transferred to Kaunas Zoo, Marta and Mart to China, and Friida is presently living at Tallinn Zoo.
In 2007, a keeper forgot to close the door of the enclosure and Franz escaped. He was anaesthetised, but unfortunately his heart failed and he died.
In 2009, 8.5-year-old Nord, born at Schönbrunn Zoo and maintained at Novosibirsk, arrived in Tallinn. It took some time until Friida and Nord became mates.
Their first cub, Nora, was born in 2013.
In January 2014 the zoo specialists had to make a difficult decision. A two-kilo tumour was found in Vaida’s pancreas and she had to be put down.
In 2016 polar bear cub Aron was born to Friida and Nord.