Doncaster on Tuesday 5 June: Afternoon

Jul 3rd, 2018 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

3.7.2018 by Ralph

The bears are normally more relaxed in the afternoon. Victor in particular found a pleasant spot to snooze on the new enclosure on his own. Nobby always enjoys patrolling the perimeter of the second enclosure. Nissan and Pixel made good use of the large lake in the first enclosure to play and keep cool.

As afternoon wore on, food drew the bears back to the dens in the middle of Project Polar.


These two shots of Victor show his famous “teddy bear” ears and shortish nose. He has lost some weight but otherwise his fur looks good and he seemed very relaxed around Nobby, rolling over on his back several times to show that he trusted the young bear.

As the afternoon wore on the Rangers started to bring the bears back to the dens and use the opportunity for clicker training with titibits to examine them.



Any sign of food is sufficient to bring Nobby back to the grills where he can be examined and if necessary medicated.




Nissan waiting patiently at the gate allows a shot of his distinctive nose markings.



Here is Pixel waiting alongside him.




Nissan with Pixel in the tunnel network between the dens, showing how big these bears are.

Nobby is very responsive to training with titbits and was being treated for some more boils, this time on one paw and again on the flank. He seems very prone to infection, perhaps because he spends so much time in the long grass and mulch.




Nobby in the tunnel network giving a good idea of his size. His distinctive nose marking reminds me of Mama Giovanna.


For a while Pixel was kept behind a metal door. His response was the usual Polar Bear single paw knock. I have the sound on my phone, it is very impressive. The three lions would not have a chance against that paw!


Nobby is growing because he enjoys his food. He was soon making short work of this large piece of meat.


As the day drew to a close, Pixel had found a place to sleep, with Nissan making sure that no one could creep up on them. Victor was in fact gated with Nobby in the two newer enclosures. Nobby found himself a place to sleep that reminded me of the grassy slope in Hellabrunn. Perhaps he still dreams of those sunny days with Giovanna and Nela..


The Rangers cover more than one area and I found a familiar face with the Meerkats.

He explained to me that because of a popular advertising campaign in the UK some children think they come from Russia, like the star of the ad, rather than South Africa.


The presence of the Ranger allowed me to get this familiar shot of Meerkats standing guard.

It had been a long day and I still had a lot of shopping to do in the gift shop before my taxi arrived.

The train home was not as crowded as on a Friday and I dozed as peacefully as Nobby and co.

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  1. Thanks for another interesting report of the four polar bears and their special marks and behaviour.

    It’s good to know you see and experience all this live
    because otherwise the grates and tunnels would give the wrong impression of huge bears in tiny cages . . .


  2. Hallo Ralph

    Man bekommt einen Eindruck, wie groß die Bären inzwischen sind.
    Viktor ist aber immer noch der “Herrscher” im Revier – was für ein Bär.
    Das Foto mit den schlummernden Bärchen gefällt mir besonders gut. 🙂

    Liebe Grüße
    Chris 🙂

  3. Lieber Ralph,

    danke für deinen ausführlichen Bericht über die Bärenbande in Doncaster.
    Das Targettraining beschäftigt auch ihre geistigen Fähigkeiten.
    Diese vergitterten Gänge sind ein gutes System, um die Bären zu leiten oder
    zu sortieren, die ja ansonsten ja sehr viel Platz auf ihrem Gelände haben.
    Die Fotos vermitteln davon diesem Gitter-Labyrinth einen guten Einblick.

    Liebe Grüße

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the second part of your report about the visit to YWP!
    It was as usual entertaining and informative the same time.
    I´m happy the bears cope with the company of other males and even got to be friends.

    Nearly every animal in captivity should be trained by its keepers for the benefit of medical examinations, treatments and surgeries.
    I´m worried about Nobby´s reemerging infections and boils. Hopefully the vets will find out the reason, strengthen his immune sytem and the boils vanish forever under medical treatment!


  5. Dear Ralph,

    Once again I’m impressed by the size of the ‘polar world’ in YWP. The white guys really have lots of space at their disposal and can choose if the want to ‘mingle’ or just enjoy their own company.

    The click training is always interesting to see. Of course, the yammy treats help a lot but it’s still amazing to see what good ‘students’ the bears are.

    I hope Nobby won’t get any infections even though he loves the mud and dirt. 🙂

    I’m sure all the animals in this park have a good home and I’m especially glad Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby are doing so fine. It’s good to know, too, that Tongki will be coming to this park.

    Thank you for a wonderful report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  6. Dear Ralph,

    thank you for the second part of your visit.
    It’s a pity that Nobby has health problems over and over again. I hope the Rangers can handle this.
    The 4 bears look very good and relaxed. And that’s the main thing.


  7. Lieber Ralph,
    Nobby macht mir langsam Sorgen, immer wieder muß er behandelt werden.
    Aber solange er frißt und mit Victor spielt, scheint es ihm gut zu gehen.
    Das Klickertraining ist wichtig, so sind die Bären für die Pfleger auch gut zu sehen und zu beurteilen.
    Danke Dir, sehen gut aus die 4 und bald kommt ein neuer Kumpel in die WG, das wird spannend.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  8. dear Ralph,
    thank you very much for your nice report and for all the wonderful pictures from Doncaster. I am glad, all the 4 polar bears are fine and have cosy places to relax and even to dream. the last picture is sweet, I have a little Pluesch Erdmännchen, I call it Juergen.
    dear greetings to England

  9. Lieber Ralph,

    vielen Dank für Deinen weiteren Bericht über die Bären in Doncaster.

    Das Target- oder Klicker-Training wird ja inzwischen schon mit fast allen Tieren in den Zoos gemacht. Das finde ich schön und auch wichtig. Nicht nur gegen Langeweile, vor allem auch, damit man die Tiere bei kleineren Verletzungen o.ä. ohne Narkose schnell behandeln kann, wie man an Nobby sieht.

    Schön, dass Du so hautnah sein durftest.

    Liebe Grüße

  10. Lieber Ralph!

    Danke für den interessanten Bericht und die tollen Bilder, die Schlafbaerchen sind suess.
    Man merkt, dass sich die Zooleute sehr viel Gedanken über die Baerenhaltung machen.

    Liebe Grüße, Erika