EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Nissan the polar bear relaxes at Yorkshire Wildlife Park after 1,000 mile journey
He had a comfortable journey via air, road and ferry from Moscow and was untroubled when his special lorry was briefly targeted by immigrants in Calais who were soon removed by police.
This exclusive footage shows Nissan taking his first steps into the reserve at Project Polar and checking out his new surroundings. Project Polar, is the purpose built 10-acre reserve with rolling hills, pools and caves that mirrors the summer Arctic tundra. Nissan is in a reserve adjacent to Victor (16) and two and half year old Pixel.
He snuffled his way around the landscape, designed to mimic his Arctic tundra habitat, and soon took his first dive into the lake.
“He seems perfectly at home and really relaxed after his first swim,” said YWP’s Simon Marsh, “It was great to see him looking at ease and exploring the reserve.
“He is already a firm favourite with the visitors that have seen him. We hope that Nissan, like Victor and Pixel will help raise awareness about the problems that polar bears face in the wild, especially climate change.”
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The park, at Branton, near Doncaster, is a major force in conservation and welfare through the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is working closely with Polar Bears International to raise funds and awareness for wild polar bear.
Nissan, came to Yorkshire as he is not currently needed in European Breeding Programme which maintains genetic diversity in the population of polar bears in zoos and parks around Europe. He is settling in at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park where he joins 16-year-old Victor and two-year-old Pixel. Victor, who is retired from the European breeding programme, was the first to arrive at the park last August and Pixel joined him in March this year.
“Pixel is very playful and finds everything interesting and will be sure to keep Victor and the visitors at the Park entertained,” said Mr Marsh, Animal Collection Manager.
“We have built one of the largest polar bears reserves in the world to be able to manage the older, retired males and also young males that aren’t required for breeding. Project Polar has been designed to replicate their Arctic tundra habitat and at 10 acres gives them the space to behave naturally. Although Polar Bears are mostly solitary in the wild as they range and hunt, males do enjoy each other’s company and will also spend time together in the wild so it is very natural to keep males together. Once we feel the time is right we will introduce Nissan to Victor and Pixel, who have been keeping a close eye on the new arrival!”
The park is home to some of the world’s most endangered species including Amur Tigers and Leopards and Painted Hunting Dogs as well as many other animals including lions, giraffes, baboons, lemurs and meerkats. For full details visit Yorkshire Wildlife Trust