This post is a bit of a diversion from my usual blog topics - a weekend wobble.
If you visit Martyn's blog or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ you will know that last week we has a day out at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Our aim was the see and hopefully photograph their polar bears.
I have very mixed feelings about keeping animals in captivity but at YWP they seem to put the interests of the animals first and are very much involved in conservation projects.
Their first polar bear Victor was part of a breeding programme in Holland where he fathered ten cubs, and now at 16 years old he has retired to the YWP. Victor has since been joined by two year old Pixel - also from the Netherlands. Pixel may at some stage join the International breeding programme.
The two bears are housed in a ten acre enclosure designed to mimic Arctic tundra and including a eight metre deep lane. Can you spot the two bears in the photo below - click to enlarge.Here's a clue - one bear( I think Victor) is relaxing between the two dens,
The other bear - I think Pixel - is in the water near the rocky island.
In the distant past having see polar bears displaying stress behaviour pacing, it was good to see them seemingly content. Pixel was having a game - see Martyn's video.
In the afternoon it was time for a snooze,
On our visit we noticed that they had three more enclosures under construction and plan to take more polar bears in the future.
An added bonus of the visit was chance to see the three Amur/Siberian tiger cubs. The cubs one male and two females were born on 29 March. The photo below isn't great as it was taken through wires on a long zoom but Martyn also has taken a video which can be seen here.We weren't the only ones interested in the cubs.
With all these meat eaters around it is important that potential meals keep a look-out.
Finally - any volunteers to handle a hissing cockroach?
Guess who's hand that is - no not mine - Martyn's. Well someone had to keep their hands free to take a photo didn't they?
If you'd like to see more of our YWP animal photos click here. There are more photos from a visit last year here