Polar bear Nobby has met up with his pal Nissan for the first time after arriving at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
The pair came nose-to-nose yesterday with the two-year-olds greeting each other in the enclosure which also includes original YWP polar bear Victor and a fourth bear, Pixel.
Nissan, who arrived at the park last year, bounded in from the 10-acre Polar Reserve to welcome Nobby who had just travelled from Germany to his new home.
The pair seemed delighted to see each other and be part of a unique grouping of male polar bears that will be crucial to ensuring the long term survival of the species.
Yesterday the new polar pals were enjoying their vast outdoor reserve together - to the delight of visitors.
The park, at Branton, near Doncaster, now has four polar bears; Victor, a 16-year-old, Pixel, aged three, Nissan and now Nobby.
“Nissan was a bit muddy from playing out but he was keen to break off the fun to see what all the fuss was about when Nobby arrived,” said Animal Manager Simon Marsh.
“Polar bears are used to leaving their mothers at two years old and travelling around to find new groupings so this was a natural feeling for both of them. They clearly got along from the start.”
Nobby will be given time to settle in from his 1,000-mile journey from a Munich Zoo but members of the public will soon be able to see him exploring the purpose-built Polar Reserve, which features pools, caves and rolling terrain that replicates the bears’ tundra habitat.
His transfer from Germany was coordinated as part of the the European Endangered Species Programme for polar bears and was meticulously planned to ensure Nobby was not fazed by the two-day journey.
“We put a lot of planning into any journey we do with our animals and this was no different. We want to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed and I can confirm that Nobby arrived in good spirits and was excited to explore his new home,” added Mr Marsh “I’m sure Nobby will become a favourite with our visitors just like Victor, Pixel and Nissan.”
The park is at the forefront of animal conservation and is part of a global project to save polar bears which are threatened by disappearing habitat and hunting.
YWP, which puts conservation and animal welfare at the heart of all it does , has just announced a £3.6m expansion and improvement plan for 2016 involving bringing endangered black rhinos to the park.
The current African Plains will be completely redeveloped and expanded in a £16m project to create a new walk through Safari experience.
The park, one of the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative attractions, brings visitors almost face to face with some of the world’s most rare and beautiful animals. It has a unique collection of animals including Amur Leopards and Tigers, Lions Anteaters, Giraffes, and many more.