Polar bear arrives in Yorkshire

Victor the polar bear settles in at his new home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster

Victor the polar bear settles in at his new home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster

First published in National News © by

After years of playing the field, Europe's most prolific breeding polar bear has arrived in Yorkshire to enjoy his retirement.

Victor, who weighs a massive 1,058lb (480kg), was unveiled at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, making him currently the only polar bear in England.

Having arrived from Holland by ferry, the 15-year-old animal will be housed in a new facility, named Project Polar, which spans about 10 acres (4 hectares).

Park chief executive John Minion said the continent was now full of Victor's children and so he had been taken out of the breeding programme.

"Victor has been the most amazing animal; he has settled in the easiest out of all the animals I've worked with," he said.

"Within 10 minutes of being here he had settled down, he was in his house, eating his food, having a drink and it was like he had been here all his life.

"He's actually the most prolific breeder across Europe, so most polar bears in Europe are probably his children.

"So because of that he's now been retired from the breeding programme and we offered him a home as we've just built this specialist enclosure which is the biggest in Europe at the moment."

Mr Minion said they had put a lot of effort into correcting the mistakes that were previously made in housing polar bears and looking at why they had been so w rong.

"It's been specifically designed to address all of the welfare concerns we used to have for polar bears and we've offered him a retirement home," he said.

"When we started the project three years ago we looked at what people used to do and why was it so wrong and why can we not keep polar bears well.

"We addressed all of those concerns and issues and come up with this very naturalistic enclosure. There's no concrete painted white, what we have is lots of rock and earth and a huge lake over an acre in size and eight metres deep."

Mr Minion said they hoped to raise awareness of how climate change was contributing to the decline in sea ice and he expected more bears to arrive in the autumn.

Comments (1)

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10:08am Tue 19 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Don't tell the climate changers, they think polar bears can survive with out ice....
Don't tell the climate changers, they think polar bears can survive with out ice.... welshmen
  • Score: 0
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