Doncaster Diary – Monday 4th of April

May 2nd, 2022 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

2.5.2022 by Ralph Morton

I arrived at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) on Monday 4 April as soon as it opened at 0930. I hurried along to Project Polar 2 (PP2) and paused only to watch one of the giraffes having breakfast.

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A number of large posters explain to visitors important facts about the large white bears who live at PP2.

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Unfortunately my three days in Doncaster was wet and windy so I was not able to meet Philip and Sheila Baker this time. Their beautiful photos feature regularly in Knutis Weekly. I only use a mobile phone to take my photos but I will try to use a few to illustrate what was going on during my visit.

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I was fortunate to watch Flocke and her cubs together in the same enclosure for the last time. They were playing at the far edge of the enclosure when I arrived but soon moved to the front.

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The little family was still together. But it was clear that Yuma and Indy were hanging on to Flocke’s every move. Tala was not so worried and it was unusual to see the group all together.

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The main enclosure has a big lake at the back and a wood mulch pit for the bears to roll in. Tala busys herself with a tyre while her brothers continue to shadow Flocke.

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After some time watching Flocke and her family I learnt from the Rangers that she had been showing signs of getting fed up with her cubs. But there were still moments where the family were together.

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Project Polar 1 (PP1) is home to four male bears. Nobby on the left, and Sisu were in the den tunnels when I arrived.

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In the first enclosure Hamish was aware that Nobby was not far away. His distinctive black nose told him so. Standing on two legs he is an impressive sight. In the background you can see the den carved into the hillside where the bears like to rest.

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Back out of the tunnels Sisu and Nobby seemed to be keeping away from each other. The pathways are now hard surfaces as this helps the bears’ paws, which do not cope well with constant damp (The Arctic is a dry place).

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Luka was inside the Den as some visitors were enjoying meeting him up close. Luka has taken over from Victor as the biggest bear in YWP.

I returned to PP2 to find Flocke having a vocal argument with Indy and Yuma. My visit was taking place in what would be their last week as a family. The rangers took careful notes of everything that was happening. Wildlife documentaries do not have this opportunity.

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Flocke got bored with the argument and walked off on her own. Tala took the opportunity to shoot out and rush back to the pool to carry on playing. Indy and Yuma stayed inside for a while.

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My first day at YWP was soon over and it was already clear that I would have a lot to see during the next two days.




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  1. Dear Ralph,
    Thank you so much for your observations. You were fortunate to see them when they were small in Marineland, and now, just before the family split up, you were there. You have remarkable insights into the dynamics of this fascinating mother and her triplets. Flocke is a great mother, but she knew when her job was done.

    Molly

  2. Dear Ralph!
    I am convinced that you had a nice and interesting time at the YWP despite the rain.
    How good that you still experienced Flocke and her kids together and can therefore also follow the reason for their separation, which soon followed.
    It’s great that you were able to see the cubs both as mini bears and as growing adolescents.
    Flocke has done a great job as a mum and really deserves a bit of rest now.

    Hugs
    Anke

  3. Brandaktuell Zoo Kolind – Baby Nivi & Anori – Zoo Kolind – 2.5.´22

    https://flic.kr/p/2ni8C1f

  4. Baby Nivi & Anori – Zoo Kolind – 2.5.´22

    https://flic.kr/p/2nibfex

  5. https://flic.kr/p/2ni8Tig

  6. https://polarbeargermany.com/2022/05/03/%f0%9f%87%a9%f0%9f%87%b0-herzlich-%f0%9f%96%96-willkommen-%f0%9f%90%bb%e2%9d%84%ef%b8%8f-eisbarbaby-nivi-anori-%f0%9f%90%bb%e2%9d%84%ef%b8%8f-eisbarparadies/

  7. Lieber Ralph,

    es war wirklich ein grosses Glück, dass du das Aufwachsen der Drillinge so hautnah hast miterleben können – erst im Marineland und nun als Teenager in Doncaster.
    Dass trotz der unmittelbaren Trennung alle noch in Doncaster bleiben können und sogar mit Blickkontakt zu Flocke, ist auch sehr schön.
    Ich freue mich auf deine Fortsetzung!

    @ Jens, vielen Dank für die schönen Fotos der Zwillinge aus Kolind!

    Britta-Gudrun

  8. Dear Ralph

    I always enjoy reading your texts. You have a special gift for writing about the bears and what is happening in a very informative way.
    Thank you for your observations of the first day.
    I am curious to know what else you have experienced.

    Hugs,
    Anita

  9. thank you dear Ralph for your report and for the pictures, I am glad you could visit the lovely bears in their wonderful home
    dear greetings and good wishes
    Filomena

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