Doncaster – Part 1 Morning

Feb 25th, 2018 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

25.2.2018 by Ralph

My visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) Doncaster on Friday 16 February

It had been two months since I had last visited the YWP and I was keen to see how the Polar Bears would be coping with a very cold icy day. The Polar Bears live in three large open enclosures, surrounding a set of quarters. You are sure not to miss the route to them.

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“Project Polar” aims to provide a home for male Polar Bears who are not needed for the breeding programme co-ordinated from the Netherlands. Victor, the oldest bear, has retired after being the father to many cubs. He was joined by his grandson, Pixel. Pixel is now nearly as big as Victor. Two younger bears, Nissan and Nobby have also joined the programme. Victor stars in this background notice.

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It is interesting to note that the YWP is nearly as far north as the latitudes in which Polar Bears are found.

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I was lucky with the weather. Although it was cold, there was no snow and rain and the light was just right for my phone camera to take pictures.

I know that Facebook is not popular with everyone, but the Fans of Yorkshire Wildlife Park pages are a must for those who are members.

Two of the photographers who use the pages were watching Nobby breaking through the ice covered water when I arrived. Their photographs are worth joining Facebook for (I did, and gave minimal information and only look at Polar Bear stuff).

I was told that Nobby had again got a boil, but that he had received appropriate medication. YWP were also testing to see if he had any problems with his immune system. Nobby seemed completely unaffected by his wound and was in the water for some time. When he emerged and walked towards his favourite mulch area, I was able to photograph the boil.

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Nobby was un-phased by his boil and was soon rolling around in the mud and mulch at the end of the enclosure. This in fact led to the boil bursting, but I did not see this until later on. Nobby was much darker after this roll.

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Victor meanwhile was in his favourite location, the tunnels which connect the enclosures the living quarters for the bears.

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His wonderful round Teddy Bear ears and black blaze on his nose can be seen in this shot.

Pixel and Nissan were on the new third enclosure.

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They greeted each other respectfully.

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The addition of the third enclosure has made it easier for those without zoom lenses to photograph the bears.

Nissan and Pixel spent a lot of time in the third enclosure. Victor joined them from time to time, as did Nobby, once he found that Victor was not there. Victor still commands a lot of respect from the young bears, though I think Nissan may be starting to be less afraid of him.

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Nissan is very much a “fun” bear. He found a piece of meat and enjoyed carrying it around, followed by the other bears.

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Nobby was also happy to join the other two young bears.

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The bears like to walk along following one another, in this case, Nobby leads, followed by Pixel and Nissan.

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What you do not see is Victor, who was shadowing them. When Victor saw Nobby he came running.

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Nobby of course was long gone, back into the wide open space of the first enclosure. I was able to see Victor up close.

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Victor’s favourite place, however, is the smaller second enclosure, where he has his mound.

The report continues in Part 2 – Afternoon – coming soon.


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  1. Lieber Ralph,
    vielen Dank für die Einladung bei den Freunden des YWP!
    Wie vielfältig und groß dieser besondere Tierpark ist habe ich erst über Facebook erfahren.
    Die Tigerin Tschuna, ist das die Kleine die in Wuppertal mit Tigermädchen Daseep aufgezogen wurde?
    Beide Tigermädchen wurden nach England vermittelt und waren hier in Wuppertal die absoluten Stars.
    Ich hoffe nicht daß Nobby ernsthafte gesundheitliche Probleme bekommt.
    Aber er ist im YWP gut aufgehoben und wird bestens versorgt.
    Viktor ist und bleibt der Chef und hat sich gut mit der jungen Gesellschaft arrangiert.
    Danke dir ganz herzlich für viele interessante Infos und Bilder von den vier Bären.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  2. Dear Ralph,

    How great you could visit ‘your boys’ in Doncaster again. It looks like they’re all doing fine. Even Nobby who doesn’t let the boil spoil his fun. 🙂 He has inherited his mother’s guts and stubborness. I hope the boil is healing well so our sweetie pie will feel even better.

    Pixel and Nissan have very good manners greeting each other so nicely although my wild guess is they sometimes have arguments, too …..

    Victor keeps his position as the head of the polar bear clan and the younger bears are wise enough to respect him.

    Thank you for bringing us news from YWP! It’s good to know all our bachelors are doing fine!

    Hugs from Mervi

  3. Lieber Ralph,

    danke für deinen Bericht und die Informationen rund um die Bären in Doncaster.
    Victor ist und bleibt der Chef und die drei Youngsters scheinen keine Rangkämpfe
    nötig zu haben.

    Ich freue mich auf den zweiten Teil deines Berichtes.
    Mit lieben Grüßen

  4. Lieber Ralph,

    vielen Dank für die vielen Informationen und Bilder der Männer WG !
    Ich denke, um Nobby muss man sich keine Sorgen machen. Er dort sehr gut aufgehoben.

    Viele Grüße aus München

  5. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the first part of the report about your visit in YWP.

    You were lucky having had sunshine and four good tempered bears to watch.

    I hope Nobby will be OK soon ! The medical treatment seems to be successful, since he plays and is doing well thus far.

    I found it funny the bears liked to parade one after another.
    It must have been quite interesting to study the behaviour of the bears among themselves and it´s fantastic there´s a place with so much space where the males can stay when they´re not needed for breeding.

    Victor is a big and very impressive polar bear and for the young bears it´s best not to tangle with him…


  6. Lieber Ralph
    schön das Du die Männer WG besucht hast
    ich freue mich das se ihnen so gut geht
    lg Birgit

  7. Hallo Ralph

    Ich wünsche Nobby gute Besserung!
    Er hatte sich ja schön geschminkt auf
    einigen Fotos. Victor ist beeindruckend!
    Man kann verstehen, dass die jüngeren
    Bären Respekt vor ihm haben. Aber zum
    Glück gibt es ja genug Platz, um sich jeder-
    zeit aus dem Weg zu gehen. Nissan und
    Pixel sehen auch sehr gut aus. Ich denke
    es ist ein gutes Projekt dort. Ich sah jetzt
    Fotos von anderen Tierarten – der Park
    macht mir allgemein einen ordentlichen
    Eindruck. Sie haben viele interessante
    Tiere in YWP. Danke für den Bericht !

    Liebe Grüße
    Chris 🙂

  8. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to all the polar bears in Doncaster.

  9. Lieber Ralph,

    vielen Dank für deinen interessanten Bericht und die vielen Fotos.
    Ich bin der Facebookgruppe Fans of Yorkshire Wildlife Park beigetreten und habe es keine Sekunde bereut.
    Vielen Dank für den Tipp.

    Ich freue mich schon auf den zweiten Teil deines Berichtes.

    viele Grüße

  10. Dear Ralph,
    thank you for the report about your trip to Doncaster. I hope Nobby will recover from getting the boils.
    The bears have a lot of place in Doncaster.. Victor is a huge bear.
    The Fans of Yorkshire Wildlife Park bring very good pictures and informations.

  11. Dear Ralph,

    Thanks for the enjoyable report!

    Hat fun it is to follow you as you
    travel the Polar Express!

    xo k-j

  12. Lieber Ralph!

    Die Jungs haben in Doncaster ein tolles Zuhause. Danke für die wunderbaren Bilder und den lieben Bericht.

    Liebe Grüße, Erika

  13. NOBBY is a beautiful ‘black bear’.
    VICTOR seems to be of an impressive size.
    No wonder the youngsters are respectful towards him and seem to feel quite uneasy in his presence.

    Thanks for the report, dear RALPH.
    I always like your description of the characters of the various bears – and in general any animals you meet!

  14. dear Ralph,
    thank you so much for your interesting report from Doncaster and for all the nice pictures.
    I am very glad all the 4 bears are fine and can find a way to live together.
    Nobby is a little bit my favorite, mein Liebling.
    It is a big pleasure for us, when you visit the bears and you bring us such lovely pictures
    dear greetings to you

  15. Dear Ralph,
    Thank you for the lovely report and pictures! Hoping that Nobby is free of boils now…….


  16. SARSAM – we can read your post in the new forum. 🙂

  17. Dear Ralph, what a pleasure to read your newest report of Doncaster. When I saw the pic of Nobby, I had a good laugh and was thinking: what is that brown bear doing in the enclosure of the polar bears???? Also good to know that all 4 are finding their place and space in the group. And Heavens know where Nobby is getting these boils from? But apparently, it seems that he is not suffering of that.
    By the way, your pics are improving bit by bit and therefore, I am sure that one day, you will stand in front of them with a real camera to do the job, isn’t it.