The award winning park in Branton, Doncaster, is all quiet after it was temporarily closing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Visitors enjoyed the unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world’s most beautiful and at a risk animals for the last time in a while on Sunday. Then staff locked the gates due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
Today, the 120-acre park is deserted apart from rangers dutifully caring for all the animals.
The park has kept a core team of staff on site who will be working all hours to maintain optimum welfare standards and care for the animals.
Three separate staff teams are in operation so that if one team is depleted by the virus, the other teams will be unaffected and can continue their vital work.
Deputy Carnivore Leader Colin Northcott is being kept busy feeding the Meerkats and the African Painted Dogs amongst others.
He said: “It’s quite striking that all I can hear are the dogs and the birds in the woods. Normally this would be a busy area with guests everywhere and children playing together. It is very odd that we are in this kind of limbo. It is a really surreal kind of feeling.
“It is so important we knuckle down and do what the government is telling us. Let’s get this back to normal sooner by acting quicker.”
As he drove through the park delivering food he added: “We have seen a lot of changes here following Covid-19, the biggest difference is that we are down to a skeleton staff.”
YWP, in Branton near Doncaster, puts conservation at the heart of all its activities and welcomes 750,000 visitors each year. The extensive park offers a unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world's most beautiful and endangered animals including Amur Leopards, Amur Tigers and the country's only Polar Bears.