Sunday, June 7

Weekend Wobble

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




18 comments:

  1. Oh, this is a lovely place to visit and relax ! All those animals are beautiful especially I like to watch the white bear !!
    Thanks for sharing your photos !!
    Have a nice Sunday !

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed the videos Ela

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  2. You know how swimming-pools are sometimes heated for us humans? Well, I wonder if the Polar Bears' swimming-pool is artificially cooled?

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    1. The lake is huge Mark and in places 8 m deep so I guess it takes quite a while to warm up. I did read something about a climate controlled area that the bears can go then if it gets too hot. That doesn't seem very likely to happen at the moment.

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  3. Gagh! I hate cockroaches. I'm not sure I'd be picking one up.

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    1. The cockroach was called Dave, Daphne. He was supposed to be very placid but became very lively when Martyn was holding him.

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  4. It's the meerkats I love, such amusing creatures!

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    1. They are great aren't they, Jessica?

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  5. It's a decent enclosure for the polar bears. I remember seeing them at Bristol Zoo when I was little, endlessly pacing up and down their little concrete space. Truly dreadful. Zoos in this country have come a long way since then I think.

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    1. The idea was for the enclosure to be big enough to allow the polar bears to wander about as they would in the wild on the Arctic tundra, CJ. There are treats left for them to find as they wander about so they display scavenging behaviour to our

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  6. I'm not keen on animals being kept in captivity but these enclosures look so much bigger than most and the animals seem content and not stressed like you usually see it zoos. Great to see a zoo putting the animals first. Looks like a great place to visit. Thoroughly enjoyed yours and Martyn's photos and videos :o)

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    1. Each time they announce that they are building an enclosure, Julie it is described as being the largest in Europe or the world. The enclosures are also modelled tomimic the animals natural habitat.

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  7. I think you're very brave hanging around to take the photo, never mind holding the cockroach, I'd have been off. There used to be a small farm attached to Eleanor's school and they had Hissing Cockroaches there, can you imagine my reply when she came home one day and asked if she could have some as pets? She used to spend her lunch time at the farm holding them, urgh! I think there's definitely a place for these kind of wildlife parks, they're nothing like the zoos we used to know. They do a lot of good for animals which have had a bad start in life and can't be released back to the wild and also in the breeding programmes of endangered species. It's good to see that the animals are given so much room. I really must make a point of visiting soon, I've been saying that since it opened. Are the lions they rescued from Romania still there?

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    1. The lions are still there, Jo but two,males died. One died through old age and the other was attacked by the lionesses that he shared an enclosure with. They couldn't break up the fight in time and don;y know a=what sparked it off.

      They have plans for more polar bears and have three enclosures being built. I know that they are trying to get a near from Mexico where the heat is too much for it.pet hissing cockroaches eek!

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  8. It's good to see how much space the polar bears have, things have come a long way from the cramped zoos of the past, thank god. The way things are going I can see more and more breeding taking place in wildlife parks.
    It must have been lovely to see those bears and cubs, wonderful pics! I rather like the hissing cockroach! xxx

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    1. With humans taking so many habitats - it seems the inky way to stop them from becoming extinct Dina

      They have an area for British wildlife but that is populated naturally also talks from keepers are given throughout the day by the enclosuresm,They also have an outdoor classroom.

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  9. I'm with Daphne - I definitely would be the one holding the camera!

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    1. I was surprised when Martyn volunteered, Margaret

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