Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s newest arrival, Rasputin the polar bear, took a dip in the icy waters of his new home to celebrate International Polar Bear Day today (27th February).
The eleven year-old has been delighting visitors since arriving at award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Rasputin, YWP’s fifth Polar Bear, in a separate reserve in quarantine after arriving from France at the end of last month.
“I am delighted how well he has settled in. He is really enjoying his new environment and has been making full use of the lake. It is wonderful to see how much he’s enjoying having so much space,” said Kim Wilkins, Carnivore Teamleader at the park.
“We were pleased when we found out the park was recommended by the European Breeding Programme as Rasputin’s new home.
“We have a unique mix of bears at Project Polar, which is always a favourite with visitors as they are active and charismatic – and all completely different characters. I am sure Rasputin will settle in well with them when he moves in.
She added, “We are committed to our conservation work at the Park and through the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation working together with Polar Bears International. I think that Rasputin will be another great Polar bear ambassador.
“He will help us move forward in our fight to ensure polar bears can ultimately survive the damage climate change is causing to their environment.”
He is set to join resident polar bears, Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby in their expansive 10 acres of networked reserves and lakes, following a further three months in quarantine.
Polar bears are highly intelligent and require a lot of space and also a complex environment to challenge their curiosity. They are the largest land carnivore and are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
The biggest threat to the bears in the wild is the loss of sea ice through global warming, which reduces the amount of time that they can spend out on the sea ice feeding.