YWP visit 25 to 26 September: Part 2 Bears in the Water

Oct 15th, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

15.10.2020 by Ralph Morton

My phone photos are mainly taken close to the wire. This gives the impression of being in a research station surrounded by Polar Bears. The land and water features at YWP resemble closely the tundra areas of Canada or Russia where Polar Bears come on land in Summer. A nice sign shows a Polar in the wild and at YWP.

Other signs remind us that this is 2020 and we need as much protection from the Virus. A system one way paths makes the walk between enclosures much longer. Fortunately on both days I had a full breakfast.


The cheerful blue sign for Project Polar is much more welcome. Three Polars live here now: Pixel, Nissan and Nobby. Pixel has moved into the role of Big Bear. His grandfather, Victor, is very much missed by staff and visitors.


I was lucky on Saturday to have Stephen King, who’s beautiful photos can be seen on Facebook, to tell me who each of the Polars were. Unfortunately I had no way of tagging the photos, so, like me, you will have to guess.


The large lakes at YWP let the Polar Bears swim in the slow leisurely way that allows them to cover such long distances in the wild.



Watching a Polar Bear relaxing in the water close into the shore is as close to nature as you can get.



The YWP bears easily between land and water. It is not long before I can photo a bear coming ashore.


Getting out the water is no problem for a Polar Bear. Their wet fur shows their powerful muscles.



Once on land the Polar moves with long loping steps.



The shoreline at YWP could easily be at the edge of the Arctic. The local seagulls show no fear of the big white furry chaps. Sheep have been an important part of the Yorkshire landscape for hundreds of years!



The Polars have plenty of room and grass. They make full use of the facilities.


Even with my phone camera it is possible to get shots of the bears showing their distinctive characteristics. Nissan has a short nose. Nobby has a tapir lip and longer nose. Pixel is bigger than the other two.







Both YWP and the Highland Wildlife Park have such realistic landscapes that a few years ago one of their bears appeared in the best “April Fools Day (1 April)” newspaper story.


In the final part I will show how the bears get along on land.

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  1. Dear Ralph,

    I like the signs and the ‘covid sign’ is certainly necessary these days. They should be seen everywhere!

    I tried to figure out who’s who but failed. Well, in your photos all three bears look great.

    Do you know when Hamish is excepted to arrive in YWP?

    Hahahaa, I wonder how many readers made an April fool of themselves … 🙂

    Thank you so much for this charming report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Lieber Ralph,
    ich weiss nur, dass Nobby der jüngste Bär ist, unterscheiden ist schwer.
    Gut genährt sind alle drei und die natürliche Landschaft ist ideal für die Haltung von Eisbären.
    Vielen Dank für den schönen Bericht und ich freue mich auf mehr!
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  3. Dear Ralph!
    You had a wonderful time with the polar bears. It was great to see them not far away from the fence. It is difficult to keep them apart at the pictures. I think they all look very well.

  4. Dear Ralph!
    I´m happy for you that the bears came so close to the fence and you could take some nice pics of them.
    I found your descriptions of them quite interesting! Well observed! But this was not your first visit in YWP and meanwhile you are for sure able to make out who is who.

    It´s a great pity that Victor passed away. He was such a gorgeous polar bear! Of course he is sorely missed.


  5. Dear Ralph
    Thank you for the interesting report.
    I think, the bears are all well! 🙂
    Chris 🙂

  6. Lieber Ralph,

    die Bären WG in YWP ist eine tolle Gemeinschaft und ihr Areal ist groß genug, um sich bei
    Unstimmigkeiten auch mal aus dem Wege gehen zu können.
    Victor wird immer noch sehr vermisst und man weiß wohl noch nicht, wer jetzt der Boss ist?

    Alle drei sehen prächtig aus und ich freue mich für dich, dass du sie trotz Corona in diesem Jahr
    wieder besuchen konntest und deine Fotos von ihnen schon gesichert waren, bevor das
    Knutphone verloren gegangen ist.

    Herzliche Grüße

  7. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Nissan, Nobby and Pixel.

  8. Dear Mervi! Dear Ralph!

    Thank you for the interesting report from YWP and for the nice photos!

    I wish you all a pleasant weekend!


  9. dear Ralph,
    it is always a big pleasure to see pictures of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Pixel, Nissan and Nobby have a good life there and of course the Chief Victor is missed by all his friends and good keepers and who knows also by the other three Polars and I can understand it was also for you sad without him.But I am glad you could make this journey, Thank you very much for your report and for all these great pictures.
    dear greetings and good wishes