The nation’s favourite polar bears have welcomed a new addition to the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Rasputin arrived last week and is the 5th Polar bear to arrive at Yorkshire Wildlife Park – which is the polar bear capital of the UK with its stunning Project Polar reserves, home to the only Polar Bears in England.
Rasputin was recommended to move to Yorkshire Wildlife Park as the best home for him by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). He is fully grown at 12 years old and weighs in at around 500kg. He was born in Moscow Zoo on the 19th November 2008, has lived in Antibes in France since 2010 and is the father of four cubs.
His move was arranged as his mate Flocke had recently had cubs and needed to be kept separate from him while the cubs are small for their safety.
Rasputin’s keeper Bruce Walton, who has been with Rasputin since he first came to the park in France, travelled over to the UK to settle Rasputin in. It was important to carry out the move while the weather was cold to ensure that Rasputin was as comfortable as possible during the journey as it can get extremely hot in the South of France. He said “he is a lovely bear and I can see he will be very happy here and have a ball.”
Rasputin will initially be kept in a separate reserve with his own lake for the first 4 months that he is at the Park due to quarantine requirements. He will then be moved to join resident polar bears Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby at the award winning Project Polar, the expansive 10 acres of networked reserves and lakes. The largest lake is 7.5m deep so the bears can dive and play in the cold depths.
“Rasputin’s arrival is very exciting and I am sure he is going to settle in very well ,” said Dr. Matt Hartley, Head of Animals at the park. “We were pleased when we found out the park was recommended by the EEP as Rasputin’s new home.” Project Polar has a unique mix of bears, which is always a favourite with visitors as they are active and charismatic – and all completely different characters.
He added: “We are committed to our conservation work at the Park and through the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation, working together with Polar Bears International and believe that he will be another great Polar bear ambassador. He will help us move forward in our fight to ensure polar bears can ultimately survive the the damage climate change is causing to their environment.”
Rasputin has been setting into his new home since his arrival on Wednesday 29th January. A few days later he made his official Yorkshire Wildlife Park public debut where he began enchanting members of the public and will continue to do so for years to come.
Find out more about Yorkshire Wildlife Park by visiting their page here.