THE first polar bear born in the UK for 25 years has been named Hamish in tribute to his Highland birthplace.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) drew up a shortlist of four names for the four-month-old male cub and put them to a public vote.

Hamish received around 21,000 of the 33,000 votes cast, beating Artor, MacKinnon and Poulsen.

The youngster was born in a special enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie in December.

In the poll RZSS described Hamish as a name "ideal for a polar bear born in the Highlands".

Douglas Richardson, the park's head of living collections, said: "We are delighted to have been able to engage with so many people.

"While we knew the public vote would be very popular, to have had more than 33,000 votes and over 21,000 for Hamish alone has been incredible.

"Of the choices put forward by our keepers, it was clear from the first day of voting that Hamish was going to be the runaway winner and we are delighted that Victoria's cub now has a name.

"Conservation is at the heart of what we do and Hamish's story is hopefully helping to raise awareness of the threats polar bears are facing in the wild as a result of climate change and more direct human activities."

Hamish was born in the week before Christmas, with Victoria having mated with Arktos, one of two male polar bears at the park.

RZSS described the birth as an "outstanding achievement" and the process was featured in a Channel 4 documentary broadcast earlier this year.