Four new polar bears arrive at Doncaster Yorkshire Wildlife Park


The four bears are newcomers to YWP.

Flocke and her three cubs have arrived at the Polar Project’s Second Reserve, after France’s move to Yorkshire was recommended as the best home for them by the European Endangered Species Program.

At 18 months, the young are growing up now and are likely to be lively additions to the park.

They will be on display to the public tomorrow (Tuesday) after being unveiled today.

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12-year-old Flocke and her triplets – males Indiana, (known as Indie) and Yuma, and little female Tala – will live separately from the park resident males who live in the 10-acre Polar 1 Project. – Nobby, Luka, Hamish and Sisu.

The new arrivals bring the park’s total number of polar bears to eight, making Project Polar the largest polar bear center outside of Canada.

Surviving triplets are extremely rare in polar bears, but Flocke followed the genes of his ancestors to become the fourth generation to produce a triplet. It is a decennial event in the breeding of polar bears in zoos or parks.

The four polar bears traveled safely from their former home in Marineland, southern France, to the park, Auckley, near Doncaster in a meticulously planned operation and their relocation was recommended by the European Species Program in danger (EEP), who considered YWP the best home for them.

The bears traveled in two air-conditioned vehicles and every aspect and time of the journey from Antibes with experienced and dedicated animal transport staff was assessed and monitored to ensure their safety.

Park Animal Director Dr Charlotte Macdonald said: “We were delighted to welcome the new polar bears to YWP, especially a whole family.

“YWP has built a reputation as a leader in the welfare and conservation of polar bears.

“The bear family are currently in quarantine on their reserve and are settling in well and we hope to be able to announce an opening date for visitors to see them soon – I’m sure our visitors are looking forward to meeting them.

“But, more importantly, these measures will help us in our campaign to ensure that polar bears can survive and thrive in the wild.

“The youngsters will enjoy exploring their new reserve and swimming in the lake – it will be great to see them all playing together.”

Flocke and his three young in Project Polar 2 combined with males from Sisu, Luka, Hamish and Nobby in the Project Polar 1 Singles Reserve now form the largest group in Europe and the second in the world in a zoo or wildlife park .

Sisu and Luka arrived at the park in December 2020, so they are also relative newcomers.

In August last year, Victor, who was the oldest polar bear in the UK and had resided at Yorkshire Wildlife Park for several years, died at the age of 22.

He arrived in Doncaster in 2014 and died of end-stage kidney disease.

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