Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP): Nissan and Pixel enjoy themselves

May 13th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

13.5.2019 by Ralph Morton

Nissan and Pixel enjoy themselves


Keeping fur clean by rolling in grass when there is no snow is a Polar Bear must. Even if your best friend is watching and not joining in.


It also solves those many itches in a thick fur coat.


Pixel takes a rest while Nissan moves in. Nissan greets Pixel but does not join in.


It is just too good, so Pixel (I think it is Pixel) carries on.


Nissan comes in for a closer look. Or is it Pixel, both look about as clean as each other?


No, I think it is Pixel.


I love the way that the bears are so relaxed in each other’s company that they show the vulnerable position for a predator.


They are so sure of each other’s trust and respect.


After a long rub, back to lying down.


A good sniff is always a sign of trust. Complete confidence on both sides.


Inspecting the fur is another mutual act of trust.


The relationship between Pixel and Nissan is closest to that of brother cubs, though it is also a substitute for the mating rituals with a female.


A predator is especially vulnerable when lying on its back, so this behaviour is a real sign that the bears are relaxed.


These moves are like the moves that Nissan and Pixel will have to make when they meet a female bear. It is excellent practice.


Another sniff and fur grooming. Both Pixel and Nissan are enjoying this play courtship.

A female Polar Bear might not be as cooperative. She will have learned to test her new male partner in play fighting and especially in the water.


Playing together by rolling in the grass will be the sign of a successful partnership with a female Polar. In the meantime, Pixel and Nissan just enjoy themselves.


In these views it is hard to tell them apart. Despite the cuddly poses, these are two of the biggest land predators! Safe and sound in the YWP with plenty of food, they can play like cubs.


Polar Bears enjoy the contact of another bear, and the Doncaster bears often cosy up. However, you describe it, they are having fun!


Anyone who doubts whether Polar Bears can be kept in captivity should visit YWP or look at these and many other pictures from there.

Nissan and Pixel in and around the water


Usually when the bears at YWP are in the big pools they are too far away for me to photograph with just a phone. But I did manage to get some images of Pixel and Nissan by and in the pool.

I love the way in which the shots look as if they were taken in the Canadian tundra.


Pixel and Nissan standing by the water working out their next move.


Pixel senses something of interest.


It is very rare to see Polar Bears in a hurry. They move carefully and deliberately unless chasing or being chased!


Trees and branches make good toys but also are worth a chew or two!


Friendship stops when food or treats around and Pixel and Nissan are no exception.


Pixel decides to sit this one out in the water. Then he finds another interesting object in the water.


Nissan moves in again to see what it is.


The best place to photograph the bears is close to the border fencing. Pixel looking clean and white is on the move.

White is relative. Some Polar Bears’ fur looks whiter than others.


Nissan follows at a respectful distance, looking dirtier as usual.


That was the first Monday in April in Project Polar.

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  1. Dear Ralph,

    Pixel and Nissan sure get along very well. The enjoy each other’s company and obviously feel very comfortable together. Of course, there are argument when it comes to food but that’s only normal. Even I have arguments if somebody tries to pinch my food! 🙂

    Both bears are looking so relaxed and happy. I wish all polar bears in the zoos had this kind of enclosures! Well, I’m glad that at last Victor, Nobby, PIxel and Nissan have wonderful living conditions in Doncaster!

    Thank you so much for this entertaining report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Dear Ralph,
    Nissan and Pixel have the very good conditions and use all oportunities to enjoy themselves 🙂

  3. Lieber Ralph,

    ich finde deine Spiel-Interpretation der immer erwachsener werdenden Bären, im Hinblick auf die spätere
    Partnerschaft mit weiblichen Bärinnen, sehr interessant und gar nicht so abwegig. Ich habe bisher nur noch nie so intensiv darüber nachgedacht.
    Deine genauen Beobachtungen und passenden Fotos dazu lassen in der Tat ein gewisses Werberitual erkennen.

    Wichtig ist, dass die Boys miteinander harmonieren und gut sozialisiert sind, wenn sie irgendwann auf die für sie auserwählte Bärin treffen.

    Vielen Dank für deinen interessanten Beitrag und liebe Grüße!

  4. “Inspecting the fur” we usually know rather from apes, monkeys etc. . . . How interesting you made this observation now even with polar bears! . . . It’s also interesting that you take the extreme trus shown by NISSAN and PIXEL one towards the other is a sign of kind of training ” = substitute for the mating rituals with a female”.

    Thank you very much for this again interesting second part of your report on experiences when watching NISSAN nad PIXEL very closely (even when far from your handy-camera!).

  5. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for another interesting part of your report about the polar bears in YWP.
    It is good to know and see that they are quite relaxed and friendly with each other.
    I loved the pics where they were rolling around in the grass.
    It must have been heart-warming to watch them play and have a good time together.


  6. Lieber Ralph,
    die beiden sind beste Kumpels und fühlen sich auch wohl in der Zweisamkeit.
    Vielen Dank für deine intessanten Beobachtungen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  7. Lieber Ralph,

    danke für Deinen Bericht und den Bildern von Nissan und Pixel.
    Schön die Beiden so relaxt und auch spielen zu sehen.

    Liebe Grüße