Yorkshire Wildlife Park(YWP): Pixel and Nissan

May 8th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

8.5.2019 by Ralph Morton

On Monday 1 April I took advantage of some decent weather to spend the day the YWP near Doncaster. Although I did visit some of the other interesting animals, most of my time was spent at the three enclosures that make up “Project Polar”.


The main and largest pool is on the right hand side of the map, together with the smaller, most recently opened enclosure. Nobby and Victor were able to use both these enclosures, using the tunnel cages in the middle of the three enclosures. As Nissan was being very possessive with Pixel, they had been given the medium sized enclosure on the left hand side of the plan.

This report concentrates on Pixel and Nissan.


YWP is quite close to the suburbs of Doncaster and I wonder what the people in the nearby houses think of the large “sheep” in the fields nearby. Fortunately the security fencing and precautions are designed to cope even with the cunning of “Ursus Maritimus”.


Even in the distance it is possible on occasions to tell Nissan, smaller and dirtier, from Pixel.


Pixel is not always content to have Nissan shadowing him, and sometimes tells him to “back off”. But in the main, both bears seem to like having company.


After a long time resting together the two decided to come over to the edge of the enclosure.


Nissan almost looks as if he wants to be with his Mum in this shot.


Pixel is nearly as large as Victor, and Nissan is also growing fast.


Pixel is a very large bear, and has long legs as well, Nissan is stockier.


Here, Nissan is closer to the camera and looks as big as Pixel! This shot could have been taken in Churchill. I wonder if this kind of photo could be taken in the wild when there is plenty of food for male bears to share.


Pixel is usually in the lead, and expects Nissan to show suitable respect.


Nissan is a friendly bear and likes company.



The main den and tunnels draws Pixel and Nissan in search of treats.


Nearly there, Pixel and Nissan approach the main den area.


The large den and tunnel complex is normally accessible at all times for all four bears. However, Nissan has become so possessive about Pixel that they are kept apart.


Pixel and Nissan wait patiently at the gate. Something has captured their attention.


Again, Pixel decides that Nissan is being too close, and growls at him.


Nissan is a clever and sensitive bear and reassures Pixel by opening closing his mouth and lowering his head.


The subject of Pixel’s interest is his Grandad, Victor, who is inside the tunnel complex.


Pixel and Victor exchange sniffs and seem very relaxed. Even Nissan joins in the conversation at the gate.


Pixel and Nissan are calm and seem to like being able to communicate with Victor.


Pixel takes last sniff.

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  1. Dear Ralph,

    I would love to have these ‘sheep’ close to my home! 🙂

    It’s great to see Pixel and Nissan getting along so well. Of course, there are small arguments now and then but that happens in all families ….

    Pixel acts like a king and expects Nissan to keep a respectable distance. 🙂

    The communication with grandad Victor went quite well, too. Maybe it’s easier to have a chat with Victor through the gate than face to face? 🙂

    Thank you so much for the greetings from our white fluffy giants in Doncaster!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Dear Ralph,
    thank you for the report about Nissan and Pixel. It is a bit crazy that Nissan wants to be very close to Pixel.

  3. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for your interesting report about the polar bears in YWP containing so many observations and conclusions about their behaviour.
    The relationship between Nissan and Pixel seems to be quite special… Pixel as the bigger one is the leader and Nissan follows wherever he goes.
    I wonder how this will develop in the future when both have fully grown up. Will they remain friends and can stay together? Or does the YWP have to separate them finally?


  4. Lieber Ralph,

    wie immer in deinen Berichten beschreibst du sehr genau deine Beobachtungen über die
    Verhaltensweise der Bären in Wort und Schrift.
    Ja, man fragt sich, wie lange die Bären WG mit den zunehmend älter werdenden
    Kumpanen noch gut geht bzw. sie zusammenbleiben können.

    Vielen Dank für deine ausführlichen Beschreibungen!

  5. Lieber Ralph,
    Nissan und Pixel sind jetzt schon lange gute Kumpels aber vielleicht muß bald das Quartett neu zusammen
    gestellt werden.
    Der “Boss” wurde von den beiden Jüngeren schon etwas gemobbt und ich bin gespannt ob vielleicht
    auch Nobby mit den beiden zusammen kommt.
    Danke dir für deine interessanten Beobachtungen und ich freue mich bald auch Nobby hier wieder zu sehen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  6. Right in the beginning of your observations on NISSAN and PIXEL I had a good laugh on your remark “what the neighbors might think about the big sheep” 🙂

    PIXEL seems to be a really huge polar bear male.

    Hopefully NISSAN as a male bear that likes company will find again somebody who allows him to be the ‘shadow when he has to move to another place. May be a pretty young polar bear lady – at least for a while (if possible mating plans end up in positive results he will share again the destiny of all polar bear males when having got ‘fathers’).

    The conversation of the three – Pixel, Victor AND Nissan – is interesting.

    Thank you very much for another report with much bachground information!

  7. Lieber Ralph,

    Du hattest mir ja schon von Deinem Besuch bei Nissan und Pixel persönlich berichtet.
    Und nun bin ich endlich dazu gekommen, mir die Fotos anzusehen.
    Auf den Bildern scheinen die beiden ja unzertrennlich zu sein.

    Liebe Grüße

  8. Lieber Ralph

    Vielen Dank für Deine aktuellen Infos aus Doncaster.
    Pixel und Nissan scheinen sich ja sehr gut zu verstehen.
    Nette Bilder.