Visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park on the 9th of DecemberDec 21st, 2016 | By mervi | Category: Zoos in U.K.
21.12.2016 by Ralph
On a dull and overcast Friday I arrived at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park by 1045 and went straight to the Polar Project area, where my friend, Steve King, was already taking photographs of the 4 bears.
The previous night I had been into my local supermarket to purchase the following treats for the bears, who would all be celebrating their birthdays this month:
A tin of hot dog sausages
A can of whipped cream
A tub of peanut butter
A jar of Mayonnaise
These were all packed into a cool bag with a Polar Bear motif.
As a little something for the Rangers, I added 4 little Polar Bear figurines and a Red Cross Card.
I was soon able to hand these over to one of the Rangers on duty, who assured me that the bears would be given the treats.
For the next four hours, Steve and I were treated to some wonderful activity by all four bears. Nobby started the day on his own in the larger lake area, because he had been reluctant to follow the Rangers’ instructions and so found himself separated. Victor was already splendidly dirty and Pixel and Nissan were playing together.
Pixel is now nearly as large as Victor and their relationship has developed accordingly.
They spent a great deal of time in what can only be described as Polar Bear wrestling matches, with a fair amount of cuddling thrown in.
Nissan is now less afraid of Victor, but still prefers the company of either Pixel or Nobby. Nissan and Nobby have grown and are roughly the same size.
Nobby has the features of his mother, with his long nose and neck, and long legs. Like his sister, Nela, he is smaller than other bears but very pretty to look at.
After an hour or so, Pixel and Nissan were allowed to join Nobby in the lake area. Victor decided he was happier where he was.
Pixel is less intimidating for Nobby than Victor and the contact between all three bears was soon following the clear rules of “sniffing” and building trust by lots of mouth opening.
Nobby and Nissan were soon playfighting in the water and were able to keep this up for long periods of time.
When they were not in the water, Nissan and Nobby were also keen on discovering the high ground and enjoying the slopes on the edge of the enclosure. Steve captured some classic Polar Bear moments.
Meanwhile, Victor had been bedding himself down in his den.
However, when Pixel decided to join him, Victor warned him off and Pixel sat for a while on top of the den, looking very puzzled.
Victor still has mood swing and Nobby is often on the end of a Victor charge, sometimes a long chase. Nobby is always alert for a large white shape on the horizon and at first mistook Pixel for Victor, though soon realised the difference.
The most thorough action of the day belonged to Nissan, who decided that his favourite ball needed moving round the enclosure, on to the island in the middle and then to wherever Nobby was. Nissan’s favourite method of moving the ball was to leap on top of it. Steve again caught the moments.
The Rangers told us that the bears were now on a more reduced diet and that this had made all of them more active. The pictures show this.
Steve was looking forward to joining the birthday celebrations next week. It was great fun being with him for the day as he knows a lot about the Park and the Polar Bears. I hope that we will soon be together again for another day in Doncaster.
All photographs are by and copyrighted to Steve King