Latvia's celebrity bear Ilzīte turns 21

On Tuesday, January 11 the 21st birthday of the female bear Ilzīte is celebrated at the Līgatne Nature Trails, a representative from the Nature Conservation Agency (DAP) Elīna Ezeriņa told newswire LETA.

Bear Ilzīte has grown up in the nature trails since birth, as her mother was unable to care for her.

In compliance with epidemiological safety rules,  it will be celebrated within her household - together with her foster parent Velga Vītola and other staff of Līgatne nature trails.

The bear will be treated to a special birthday cake made from fish, nuts, honey, and berries. 21 years is a significant achievement for bears who have not been fed by their biological mother, although in some states Ilzīte would only be considered bear-ly legal.

Ilzīte has starred in several documentaries, has her own memoir written by Velga Vītola and has been the subject of nature photographers' photo shoots.

The Līgatne Nature Trails are a significant object created to introduce people to the animal species living in Latvia, as well as the variety of the country's nature and the need to protect it. 

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