It was the Polar Party that warmed the coldest day as three of Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s polar bears celebrated their birthdays.
The country’s oldest and most popular polar bear Victor celebrated his 20th birthday, along with fellow birthday boys, Nissan and Pixel.
The birthday trio got in some present opening practice and tucked into mouthwatering snacks wrapped up in birthday boxes from staff at the innovative park at Branton, near Doncaster.
“Their birthdays are close together so we decided to host a wonderful polar bear party for them,” said Kim Wilkins, Carnivore Team Leader.
“The bears were delighted with their birthday gifts and visitors enjoyed watching them opening and gulping down their presents which were covered in mayonnaise.”
The Fab Four – including 5-year-old Nobby – are the country’s only group of polar bears and they have become firm favourites with visitors to the 100-acre walkthrough park.
Victor, the first to arrive at YWP in 2014, has now retired from the European breeding programme after siring 10 cubs.
He was followed at the park by his grandson Pixel, who arrived in 2015, and then 5-year-olds Nissan and Nobby.
Their ground-breaking reserve features several lakes – the largest one covers an area of 6,500 square metres and contains more than 25.5 million gallons of water – and is designed to reflect the habitat of the summer Arctic tundra.
YWP and its Foundation are committed to supporting polar bears who are threatened by global warming reducing their Arctic hunting and breeding grounds and has funded a series of projects designed to protect numbers.
The park, home to more than 400 animals from 70 rare and endangered species, is currently in the midst of its sparkling events this Christmas.
YWP, opened in 2009, is the fastest growing wildlife attraction in the UK.
The park is open daily over the festive period except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.