20th February 2020

Environment Yorkshire Wildlife Park takes polar bear for safety of cubs

Environment Yorkshire Wildlife Park takes polar bear for safety of cubs

Environment

environment Rasputin the polar bear in profileImage copyright
Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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A team of vets and transport specialists were involved in Rasputin’s move, which took months to plan

A polar bear has been moved to the UK from captivity in France to stop him harming his mate’s cubs.

Rasputin was brought to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster, from Antibes in the south of France.

The journey was planned for winter time so he would experience more comfortable temperatures.

Bruce Walton, who was Rasputin’s keeper in France. said: “He is a lovely bear and I can see he will be very happy here and have a ball.”

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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Rasputin was moved before it got too warm in the South of France for him to be comfortable in transit

Rasputin was born in Moscow Zoo in November 2008 and has lived in Antibes since in 2010.

His mate Flocke recently had cubs and he needs to be kept away for their safety.

Adult polar bears have been known to kill and eat cubs.

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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The 500kg bear was loaded into a crate and on to a lorry which travelled by road and ferry

Rasputin arrived in Yorkshire on 29 January, but has been kept away from the public while he explores his new environment.

Due to quarantine requirements, Rasputin is currently in his own reserve which is to open to visitors from Wednesday.

After four mouths he will be moved to join resident polar bears Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby.

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park hopes Rasputin will be a “great polar bear ambassador”

The European Endangered Species Programme recommended Rasputin move to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, home to the only polar bears in England.

The survival of polar bears in the wild has been threatened by the loss of sea ice through global warming which makes it harder for them to feed.

The park’s head of animals, Matt Hartley, said: “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.”

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