Two bears are being given treatment for psychological problems at Dublin Zoo.
The zoo director Leo Oosterweghel believes the two animals are suffering as a result of a lack of stimulation at some point in their past.
The bears were rescued from a rubbish dump in the north of Canada after becoming separated from their parents long before reaching the zoo, and experts in the US have been consulted about the best way to look after them in their current condition.
Dutchman Mr Oosterweghel, who took over running Dublin Zoo this week, said the bears, recently moved into larger quarters in the Phoenix Park establishment, were getting top priority in an effort to resolve their psychological hang-ups.
He reported: ‘‘I hope the advice we get will help the bears snap out of their current behaviour.
‘‘We have a responsibility to care for them, and it’s right at the top of my list.’’