January – Amur Tigers
The year began with the Amur Tigers enjoying the winter snow as temperatures dropped closer to those of their natural habitat in Russia. Only 500 Amur Tigers survive in the wild and YWP is at the forefront of the international effort to save the species.
February – Polar Bears
The country’s only Polar Bears enjoyed a freezing delivery in February – mountains of ice. Volunteers spent almost two hours labouring with love to ensure the polar bears got their deserved half term treat in Project Polar, one of the biggest reserves in the world. Unsurprisingly Nissan, Pixel, Victor and Nobby thought their treat was grrrr-eat.
March – Giraffes
The park is home to four giraffes: Jambo, Jengo, Behansin and Palle help to raise awareness over conservation efforts as there is an estimated 1,500 giraffes remaining in the wild, Later in the year a new VIP experience was introduced, combining a close up encounter with both the giraffe and the camels.
April – Lions
April marked ten years since the doors first opened at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The park won international acclaim in 2010 with the rescue of 13 lions from a run-down zoo in Romania.
May – Lemurs
In May a heart-warming image of a baby lemur at YWP with his parents won a prestigious photography award. The image entitled ‘Safe Hands’ was taken by photographer David Roberts and was commended in the ‘Capturing Hearts and Minds’ category of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) National Zoo and Aquarium Photo Awards.
June – Meerkats
As temperatures soared in June the animals all enjoyed the sun. While the Polar Bears dived into their pool, and the Lemurs enjoyed ice fruit lollies, the heat loving Meerkats decided to bask in the sun.
July – Cotton Top Tamarins
In July, a pair of rare Cotton Top Tamarins joined the park. Maurice and Margot, both aged 2, are part of the international breeding programme. There are currently only believed to be just over 6,000 of the species left in the wild. It is hoped the pair will give the species a boost by breeding.
August – Painted Hunting Dog Puppies
Two -endangered African Painted Hunting Dog puppies were born at the park. The birth was a landmark moment for conservationists battling to save the species from extinction with their numbers declining from 500,000 to less than 5,000 in the past decade. YWP is part of the European breeding programme aimed at boosting their numbers.
September – Rhino
In September Jasper, Makibo and Najuma the black rhinos helped raise awareness about the plight of their species. On World Rhino Day the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation (YWPF) announced that it would be funding its fourth consecutive project with the Rhino International at the Oi Jogi Conservation in Kenya.
October – Giant Otter
Orimar the Giant Otter arrived at the park in October joining Alexandra. Giant otters are currently on the critically endangered list with there being around 5,000 left in the wild. Orimar and Alexandra seemed to have love at first sight and the park are hoping for the pair to breed in the near future.
November – Wallaby
An injured wallaby left for dead after being shot in Berkshire, was rescued by YWP. Wilding is now enjoying his new home after being nursed back to health by rangers.
December – Amur Leopard
The park has put their own twist on Christmas gifts encouraging visitors to adopt an animal. You can choose from 8 animals that the park has to offer: Amur Leopards, Amur Tigers, Lemurs, Meerkats, Giraffes, Painted Dogs, Lions and Polar Bears. For £45 the package includes a cuddly toy, a personal adoption certificate, a photograph of the animal and two free entry passes.