Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:30 UK

Roar and peace role for soldiers

Mercedes the polar bear
Mercedes is to be moved from Edinburgh to the Highlands

Sappers are to help prepare the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie for the arrival of Edinburgh Zoo's polar bear.

Mercedes, the only polar bear in a UK zoo, is to be relocated to a new enclosure at the park next month.

The soldiers from 51 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers will build a road and car park for the bear site.

They will also construct a viewing platform and bridge at the park's tiger enclosure.

Dubbed Caledonian Thor, the exercise is to train the sappers in military aid and civil community tasks.

Capt Dave Crosbie said: "The men have not done this type of engineering work for a while due to being on operations in Afghanistan, and are soon to commence pre-deployment training for a return tour of duty.

"The new enclosure and viewing platform for Mercedes, along with the new road and a viewing platform for the tiger enclosure, allowed the men to practise their trade skills - which has been very good and valuable training before they deploy on operations."

Previously, Territorial Army soldiers of 75 Engineer Regiment worked on the polar bear enclosure.



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