Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park

Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park welcomes two more polar bears

Posted: 26th March, 2024

Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park has welcomed two more polar bears to join rescued polar bear, Ewa, who was saved in October 2023 from a disbanded zoo in Sweden.

Flocke (age 16) and Tala (age 4) have joined Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park from Yorkshire Wildlife Park as part of the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Ex-situ Programme whose aim is conserving and safeguarding healthy populations of threatened species and animals in captivity. They have joined Ewa in a multi-functional enclosure called ‘The Lost Lands of the Tundra’ which incorporates other tundra species including reindeer, arctic wolves, and arctic foxes.

The ‘tundra’ habitat is an extension of Suffolk-based Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park, a regional centre of excellence for the conservation of British rare breeds and exotic species. The aim is to conserve and rescue rare, protected, and endangered species, whilst promoting a wider understanding of the natural world and inspiring future generations to support and protect wildlife, both native and exotic.

Jimmy Doherty, founder and CEO of Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park said:

I am delighted at the arrival of these two amazing polar bears: Flocke and Tala. Flocke, who was hand reared at Nuremberg Zoo, and her daughter Tala, are settling in incredibly well.  We are so proud to be their guardians and celebrate the contribution we, and other worldwide organisations are making, in one of the most important international conservation efforts of our generation.”

The Lost Lands Of The Tundra intertwines with the existing natural landscape and incorporates woodland and natural springs. Polar bears are classified as marine mammals and have three large pools in their new home.

A shrinking polar icecap and shortening polar ice season has pitched the species to the forefront of conservation concerns, so much so that representatives of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group and the conservation group Polar Bears International now feel that the modern zoo community has an increasingly important role to play, which includes keeping and managing polar bears within collections long term. 

Stevie Sheppard, Park Director at Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park explained:

“Polar bears are the flagship animal of climate change and by housing them here in Suffolk, we can educate visitors on the devastating effects on our planet. I think David Attenborough sums it up perfectly in his 2015 quote…

““If children grow up not knowing about nature and appreciating it, they will not understand it, and if they don’t understand it, they won’t protect it, and if they don’t protect it, who will?””

The arrival of Flocke and Tala coincides with the launch of Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park’s official charity, Space for the Wild. The charity will work hard to protect the planet, create habitats, push for regenerative farming, rescue, and rehabilitate wildlife. Jimmy is a patron of the charity and has forever been passionate about nature and farming. At 16, he was the youngest ever assistant entomologist at Mole Hall Wildlife park in Saffron Walden. After gaining a degree in zoology, Jimmy worked at the entomology department at London’s Natural History Museum before moving on to Coventry university where he researched for a doctorate in entomology. He also taught animal ecology and animal philosophy to undergraduate students.

Jimmy’s Farm began on an old dairy farm on the outskirts of Ipswich. Jimmy dreamt of a full restoration, returning the totally derelict farm back to a fully working, thriving livestock farm. His vision was to only use traditional, free-range farming methods with 100% traceability, rearing rare and domestic breeds from the UK Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park is now an award-winning Wildlife Park, rare breed farm, restaurant and wedding venue based in the heart of Suffolk. It is home to world class facilities such as Europe’s largest polar bear reserve. From pigs to polar bears the park is a centre of excellence for British rare breeds as well as camels, primates, tapir and crocodiles amongst other animals. Jimmy’s vision and belief that the natural world should be accessible and available to all is an ongoing but hopeful, promising and encouraging mission.

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