Bears welcome wintry weather

Ice, snow and freezing conditions were welcomed by the polar bears of Yorkshire Wildlife Park over the weekend (December 9-10).

Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby were breaking ice on the lakes in their reserve and frolicking around the snow-covered grounds.

The four revelled in the wintry blasts as visitors watched their antics at Project Polar, a 10-acre reserve at the award-winning park.

Cheryl Williams, director of the park at Branton near Doncaster, said: “They loved the ice and snow and were out early in the morning to make the most of it.

“Polar bears are happy in a range of conditions and, obviously, this cold snap doesn’t put them off at all. It was great to see them enjoying the conditions and smashing their paws into the ice that had formed on the lakes.”

The park and its foundation are at the forefront of an international conservation campaign to protect polar bears who are threatened by the impact of global warming on their natural Arctic hunting and breeding grounds.

The 100-acre park was bustling over the weekend as it celebrated the first of its two Christmas Fair weekends.

Williams added: “They are always fantastic events and really signal the start of Christmas. The cold didn’t put anyone off and there were so many people here, they probably raised the temperature by a few degrees.”

The second Christmas Fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17.