• YWP celebrates Viktor the polar bear on National Grandparents Day

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    October 07, 2019
    Victor the polar bear has a family album that is the envy of the animal kingdom with 17 children and 11 grandchildren.

    A family reunion would test the organisational skills of the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park as they are at zoos around the world, but his status is being celebrated today on National Grandparents Day across the European breeding programme for the endangered species.

    Victor, who weighs in at 60-stone, has been officially retired from the programme but is a firm favourite at the Doncaster Park. He has continued vital work as an ambassador for the species to help bring awareness of polar bear conservation and climate change.

    He shares his current ten-acre Project Polar home with two other bears as well as one of his grandchildren a six-year-old male named Pixel. The rest of his family are spread out across European zoos and wildlife parks.
    Victor came to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park at Branton, near Doncaster, four years ago and was the first resident in the state-of-the art facility, which has won design awards. The faculty is home to the only Polar Bears in the country.

    “Victor is a firm favourite with our visitors who love having the chance to see such an impressive animal close-up,” said Head of Animals Dr. Matt Hartley. “They also notice how good he is with the other polar bears – Nissan, Nobby and Pixel – who are in awe of him.Victor has also played a key role in the European breeding programme, giving hope to the species which is threatened by climate change.”

    Polar bear numbers have been devastated by disappearing Arctic Sea ice where they roam and hunt.

    YWP, which puts conservation at the heart of all its activities, offers visitors a unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered animals, including Amur Leopards and Tigers, Rhinos, Giraffes and the Polar Bears.

    The ten-acre Project Polar, also home to Nissan and Nobby is one of the largest reserves in the world. It is Yorkshire Wildlife Park's flagship conservation project and combines the key objectives; ‘conservation’, ‘welfare’ and ‘education’ working towards saving and improving the welfare of Polar Bears. 

    Rangers at the Park raise funds for the charity the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation which supports conservation and welfare projects around the world. The foundation has supported several initiatives with Polar Bears International to help bears in the wild.
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