Yorkshire Wildlife Park announces sad passing of popular rescued bear

A bear, rescued from a museum in Japan and brought to Doncaster, has died at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 7:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 7:15 pm
Brown bears rescued by Yorkshire Wildlife Park from a museum in Japan arrived in

The park announced that Riku, an 18-year-old Ussuri Brown Bear which was one of four to have been treated in South Yorkshire since arriving here 18 months ago, had to be put to sleep due to the chronic health conditions which came as a result of poor conditions before being rescued.

On their website, Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: “The previous poor facilities meant that the four rescued bears came with chronic health conditions. When they arrived they had problems with their teeth, malnourishment, joint and limb problems and they were underweight. Our vets working with international veterinary specialists have provided a comprehensive programme of veterinary care.

“Despite this intensive care, Riku was put to sleep as his medical condition was determined untreatable.”

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It added: “The park would like to thank the dedicated animal ranger team who have loved and cared for Riku since his arrival and who today are grieving for one who was a favourite at the park for staff and visitors alike.”

Hannako, the only female bear of the four, continues to be treated and the park added “her welfare will not be compromised by being alone and the park currently has no plans to obtain additional bears.”

The bears arrived last summer after an admission by the owners of a Japanese cultural museum on the island of Hokkaido that they didn't have the necessary skills, space or experience to care for them.

With no facility available in Japan, Yorkshire Wildlife Park was chosen to house the bears because of the park’s expertise in welfare and rehabilitation, and a meticulously planned operation transferred them 5,400 miles to a purpose-built Rescue and Rehabilitation Reserve at the park.