Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park Praised for their Polar Bear Conservation

Posted: 25th June, 2024

The polar bear conservation work of award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park has been praised by a top charity.

Internationally acclaimed Polar Bears International applauded the tireless efforts of the park to raise awareness and knowledge of their plight, as well as fundraising to support initiatives to save the species.

YWP has been a proud member of Polar Bear International’s Arctic Ambassador Centre Network for 9 years and is the only ambassador in the UK.

PBI said YWP, along with other ambassadors, “have made a real impact on wild polar bears and inspired our communities to act.

“We’re delighted to have YWP celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Arctic Ambassador Centre Network.”

YWP and PBI collaborated on a two-day polar bear conference in January, examining climate change issues, veterinary care and the role of zoos in the conservation of polar bears.

Delegates came from around the world including from the US, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Germany and France - attracting worldwide attention to this issue.

Meanwhile, YWP is celebrating 10 years of “Project Polar”, one of the largest polar bear reserves in the world, and home to six polar bears - Nobby, Hamish, Luka, Indiana, Yuma, and Sisu.

Rangers hold daily talks about the polar bears and collect funds for the WildLife Foundation, a charity based at the park.

The WildLife Foundation, which is at the forefront of global conservation programmes, supports PBI’s conservation work and recently made another £10,000 donation to the charity.

YWP CEO John Minion said, “We are extremely proud to be an Ambassador for PBI and will do everything we can to support efforts to save polar bears.

“I would also like to thank all the visitors who have donated having heard about their plight; If we all work together, we can make a difference."

It is thought there are around 26,000 polar bears worldwide, but without action all but a few could be lost by the end of the century.

Meanwhile, a new study has revealed that the Hudson Bay polar bears are in a dire position, predicting that these iconic Arctic giants could vanish from the region by mid-century if we fail to meet the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The research says that the Southern Hudson Bay population is at severe risk, with the ice-free periods becoming too lengthy for survival, polar bears in this region face extinction at warming levels between 1.6°C and 2.1°C.

Polar bears depend on sea ice to hunt and sustain themselves, but as these ice platforms melt away they are forced to endure long fasts on land, unable to find the seals they rely on.

If we surpass the 2°C warming limit established by the Paris Agreement, we could witness the tragic disappearance of these majestic creatures from Hudson Bay between the 2030’s and 2060’s.

Wildlife Foundation Trustee Cheryl Williams said, “We are proud to support international conservation efforts. We hope that our donations will support Polar Bears International’s inspiring work and enable Yorkshire Wildlife Park to play an even bigger role in the global efforts to protect this precious species”

She added “There are many challenges ahead for polar bears, namely climate change which remains the main threat to their future existence, but collaborating with organisations such as Polar Bear International brings great hope and strengthens our resolve for the future.”

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