Tragedy at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Tragedy at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Tragedy at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Victor, the UK’s oldest Polar Bear has tragically died at Yorkshire Wildlife Park aged 22-years-old.

According to a statement by the park, Victor was taken “unexpectedly taken ill” on Friday.

He died shortly after, after a team of vets were forced to put him to sleep, despite their best efforts.

Victor is said to have suffered terminal kidney failure at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster.

In 2017, Yorkshire Wildlife Park published the following footage updating the public on Victor’s health:


Victor was born at Rostock Zoo in Germany, and was then moved to Rhenen in the Netherlands.

He spent his entire life in captivity.

After retiring from the European breeding programme in 2014 he was rehomed a Yorkshire Wildlife Park in 2014.

During the programme Victor fathered 13 cubs.

A statement released by the park on Friday said:

“The Directors of Yorkshire Wildlife Park would like to thank the veterinary team from  Portland House Veterinary Group who responded so quickly and who have worked and supported staff in caring for Victor since he arrived in Yorkshire.

“The Park would also like to thank the dedicated staff team who have loved and cared for Victor since his arrival and who today are saddened by the loss of one who was a favourite at the park for staff and visitors alike.

“Victor was a great ambassador for his species, inspiring generations and drawing attention to the plight of his species in the wild and the threat of climate change. He will be greatly missed by everyone.”

The sad news follows an announcement that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is preparing to welcome a new polar bear.

2.5-year-old Hamish is the first polar bear cub to be born in the UK for 25 years.

He will arrive in the autumn, joining Pixel, Nissan, Nobby and Rasputin at the park.

The acquisition is at the recommendation of the European Endangered Species Programme to support the campaign to save polar bears from the devastating impact of climate change.

Dr Matt Hartley, Head of Animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park said:

“We are looking forward to Hamish’s arrival and are sure he will settle in quickly to life with his new family who, like him, are active, charismatic and visitors’ favourite.

“Our conservation work is vital to securing their future and Hamish will help us understand more about their habits and behavior.”

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is currently home to the only polar bears in England.